Shrine to Vernon grows with community’s help

New installation celebrates Vertigo’s 10th anniversary.

  • Jun. 1, 2011 11:00 a.m.
Nhan Duc Nguyen has installed his Shrine to Literature: In Vernon Another Tree Grows at Gallery Vertigo.

Nhan Duc Nguyen has installed his Shrine to Literature: In Vernon Another Tree Grows at Gallery Vertigo.

A shine to Vernon has sprouted with the new art installation by Vancouver’s Nhan Duc Nguyen, opening at Gallery Vertigo Saturday.

To construct the piece, Nguyen collected audio and texts from local residents for the inclusion to his Shrine to Literature: In Vernon Another Tree Grows.

The installation is process based and is built from locally-sourced materials, and celebrates Vertigo’s 10-year anniversary.

One component, an audio playback of answers from participants of their names, birthplaces, and length of residencies in current locations, plus a “happy 10th anniversary Vertigo” message, is a playful take on Canada’s recent nationwide census, said Vertigo’s curator/director Judith Jurica.

“(Nguyen) compares his process to that of a cook looking for ingredients to construct a dinner, or to a dressmaker dressing a client. Like those activities, he searches out and assembles materials with a general sense of taste and view in mind towards the diners and the client,” she said.

For the Vernon shrine, Nguyen added slivers of text from books,  comprised with bits of conversations gleaned from email exchanges and audio recordings, as well as a published haiku sent in by a local author, Vernon-based news from official sources such as The Morning Star, web-based content, writing sent to past Shrines to Literature, and his own  script.

“Often, materials collected from Nguyen’s past Shrines to Literature are reworked to create independent art works as well as for incorporation into future installations,” said Jurica.

The artist also incorporated mirror writings (on art paper and sticky-notes added directly to the wall) consisting of transposed questions printed in reverse, with mirrors provided for reading.

“Candles, incense, flowers and other accoutrements of traditional shrines are also a part of the riot of information and colour that invites the viewer to move in close,” said Jurica.

The shrine also invites more stories to be added on as time goes by, she added.

Also on exhibition at Vertigo for the month of June is Shauna Oddleifson’s the other side, a series of collaged works featuring the musings of a badly behaved child, and Portia Priegert’s Embedded on the featured NOAA member’s wall.

Saturday’s opening reception is from 7 to 9 p.m. Live music will be provided by Mikhal Waters. All exhibitions run until  July 16. Vertigo is located upstairs at #1-3001 31st St. in downtown Vernon.