Research interests:

– Botanical studies and urban planning
– Regional folklore, ghost myths, animistic practices
– Alternative historiographies

Inspired by the recent felling of Khaya senegalensis (a tree species native to West Africa) in one of Ho Chi Minh City’s oldest streets for urban development purposes, Lêna Bùi’s project revolves around widespread regional beliefs about hungry and unresolved spirits residing in trees. The artist plans to delve deeper into the intersections between botanical studies, colonial histories, and urban planning in Indochina, framing them against the backdrop of ancestral wisdom and haunting presences. The research will eventually lead to an articulation of unspoken stories from times gone by.

The residency of Lêna Bùi was scheduled for April – June 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak rendered international travel impossible. In order to continue to support artistic research and foster collaborations beyond borders, the NTU CCA Residencies Programme initiated Residencies Rewired, a project that trailblazes new pathways to collaboration.

Research Liaison: Elizabeth Ang

Elizabeth Ang is a freelance creative and writer who holds a BA in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests include Cold War historiography as well as social, cultural, and religious histories of Southeast Asia.