2. Jo Ngo
Presented by Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery | FC03
Why 5:45 pm? This work was created during quarantine and this time was rougher than earlier lockdowns as many people passed away of Covid-19 in Saigon. In fact, the city was abandoned for almost two months and the military took over every street corner to check papers and even delivered groceries. This was the first time I could fully understand the Communism lifestyle my parents had experienced after 1975 with the very strict government control on supplies and movement. I did feel as though I was living in a war zone, and, through my mother’s eyes, it was worse as the enemy was invisible and surrounding us. At the same time, I found peace and love in my city because it was extremely quiet, and the streets were gorgeous and calm with very few people. There was also a sense of camara derie amongst those who stayed with lots of fundraising events and volunteering to deliver free groceries and so on.
I remember the strong sentiments when I stood on our balcony, and I wanted to hit the road outside on my bike to experience green spaces and nature even with the chances of getting into trouble with the authorities. At 5:45pm this feeling was particularly strong as the sunlight would be gone soon and there were 15 more minutes before we entered the restricted time; the desire to go out for some fresh air was powerful. At this moment, 5:45pm, I had to decide whether to stay at home or go out for some fresh air. It is such a short time that risk is guaranteed but it is long enough to make a move. While composing the track, I found myself floating in a thin fog with a pleasant breeze during the melancholy yet gorgeous sunset. The regret that another day had just passed, and I might have missed something. With those sentiments, I created the scene to capture the vision in my imagination.
Courtesy of Jo Ngo and Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery