I live less in Vietnam than in the Netherlands -
I live more in the Netherlands than in Vietnam

story of A vinh Tran, a chinese woman who fled Vietnam in the 1970s
group exhibition “On Collective Care & Togetherness” 
Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam 
wood, rice bags, rice grains
2020

Roos prioritise the stories and faces of immigrants in her works to give people of color a voice. She visits them at home and records them on sound and video. At first she gets to know them as acquaintances, strangers on the street, as those mothers and fathers of our friends, as unknown customers in the toko and change into acquaintances and friends. She gets acquainted with A vinh Tran, the mother of Denniel Vuong (a dear childhood friend of Roos) and visits her at home in Beverwijk. An important part of the conversation is about her experiences as a 15-year-old girl in Vietnam during the war and as a boat refugee who was picked up by a NEDLLOYD boat.

The wooden construction in the installation refers to the boat refugees who fled Vietnam in the 1970s and 1980s after the division of Vietnam into a communist North and an anti-communist South. For this work, Roos was inspired by the conversation with A vinh Tran. The various bags of rice not only reflect the bodies and the worldwide flight of immigrants from all over the world to Western Europe, but is also a reference to the use of rice in the toko of Roos' family. Her father (the chef in the toko) uses all kinds of rice from different countries; pandan, jasmine, basmati, long grain and broken rice grains for cooking rice.

With the transcript “written words of A vinh Tran”, Roos tells about the hidden history of an immigrant. This can be listened in the recording. She shows that this normal woman - A vinh Tran - tells a story that is important to the history of all immigrants and non-immigrants.



︎ Booklet : Written words of A vinh Tran, these words were observed during a conversation between Pris Roos and A vinh Tran on August 14, 2019




That’s in the south

Ho Chi Min City

They used to call it Saigon

Now it is Ho Chi Min City

It used to be a free country

It consisted of North and South

North is communist country

South is free



Written words of A vinh Tran 
When I was 30 years old

Fled

To here

I am 70 years now

40 years in the Netherlands

1970 came to the Netherlands

With boat refugees

Only picked up by a Dutch boat

Fled by boat

Actually for me

I did not pay for the boat myself



Written words by A vinh Tran
And the engine starts running

People turn too

And turning and turning and

people too

It is horrible

I have also seen myself

I’m also afraid of it

Close to that engine and ship


Written words by A vinh Tran