The Last Letter Writer’s Last Love Letter
2015-19, hand painted letter, lock, metal wire, cement, tin, spray paint, butcher table
130 x 32 x 19 cm
This work depicts a cryptic series of objects. A hand-painted envelope, stamped with the year 2055, addressed to the artist’s family’s former home in Saigon, is encased halfway in a glob of cement. The latter has a key and latch that goes nowhere. This pairing is caged in a barbed wire mailbox, which sits on a wooden butcher block.
TLLWLLL refers to Mr. Ngo, the last remaining public letter writer in Vietnam who, in his 80’s, continues receiving people at his post office desk on weekdays, translating letters for them into Vietnamese, English, and French. The work romanticizes him, and by extension Vietnam.
Is it a letter that will go undelivered?
The materials for the piece reference many of the same materials that comprised the gate (pictured below) at Nguyen’s previous apartment building in central Saigon.