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7 beginnings of 7 days. 


01 virtual room 

Each day one visitor whose visit I didn't know in advance arrives

My invitation: "Come any time. Leave anytime. Do something, anything, or nothing. Just that we'd not speak or chat. Left with no other device but each other's presence via the screens, taking in the pixels that make up the other person's look, smile, breathe, movement to connect.

The work was developed in an online residency with Heritage Space (Vietnam). 

The online exhibition can be viewed in full at:

Day 1: Nhan Tran

She looks. Her eyes are soft. She smiles. She reads. She is patient. 

We sit in different rooms, each looking out of their window. 

We film our windows and show each other.

Time feels like water, like a softcover in a chilly day. 

Hong Anh comes. The softness cracks. We three draw. Time feels jagged, but joyful.

Day 2: Nobody

Chi's only got Chi.

Day 3: Katja

Dance, laugh, go wild, paint faces, become animals, growl.

Katja is like the summer sun. 

Time spent with Katja is a bright outburst.


Day 4: Yujin

Yujin feels like a stream in the mountain. Fresh. Life-giving. Pristine. Light. Therapeutic.

Yujin takes me to the garden, where her chicken peck in warm sunlight. 

She takes me for a walk in the countryside. We stop at times for her dogs to pee under tall green trees.

Yujin takes her clothes off in front of me. 

She shows me her studio - her mind. It was wonderful, exuberant. Calm. A strong, happening life-love.

Day 5: Tong Khanh Ha

Ha settles into sleep. I watch her sleeping for hours.

Time tastes sweet. 

Almost like a lover's embrace.

Day 6: Ngo Thanh Phuong

Phuong lives through dancing, the intensity realized by her gestures, movements, facial muscles. 

She lives through collapsing boundaries of bodies. 

She moves.



The time we spent with each other. How to count it? Who am I to cut and chop OUR time into pieces?

That second when Nhan's eyes met with mine, and she smiled sweetly. How long was that? Nearly three hours watching Ha sleep. That pin-drop second when Phuong opens her blouse and breastfeeds her child - and I thought I died a bit.

Time. They gifted me with their time. They came into a place with zero knowledge of what was to happen. But they came anyway, on trust.


Day 7: Bob Black

Bob later sent a poem.

Where I End and You Begin


“We sing to

Wing a string We sing to 

Wing again”—Hoa Nguyen 


Once we were born, bone apart long ago, 

Our hearts snapped in two and veined their way across the ocean like incandescent creatures, 

The wind raging up through the valleys of the deep Pacific,

One on the Eastern shoulder, a state known for sunlight, waves, deserts of broken dreams

The other the Western shoulder, a verdant valley known for the depth of its green rain and bone-stamina through war and flooding waters and foliage like a book of history,

and the sea grew wild and awind, carried us across the cold waters, like flotsam 

made jade in the sealight, criss-crossing each other’s path, 

railroading contours and contrails, invisible to the other

yet, were we not waiting, nearly two decades later,

you appeared, ache-boned and tatood with an alphabet of remembering

Lined along the mountains inexorably as 青龍

The jungle-night drafting through pine-eyes and leaves in flags of breath 

heading landward, sound and smacked light, 

the palm cups of overgrown vegetation cupping the mist, falling like pebbles from rooftops

we, again,

a mirrored room passing as guest love, the collapsed screen, bedbornloss

How we were born, long later.

How we are born of the veiny time,

How we gathered, leaves lost in the dark October corner

Reborn through the shifting of selves, between all that was once a singular I

Now becomes you,

Hours homeward in the hives stuing across the lines of my fingerprints along the shore and stones of Da Nang, 

my ghost california finger unlocked and pricked your mouth wide as the sky, 

your London lips sucked my aging skeleton back to life,


We danced against time and tile and buckled until late in the night and

fucked ourselves back to life.


Reborn from the rattling of your voice fragile, cubes of ice rubbing against glass

British inflected, light and upturned like a cat bending a corner

your face scarred and pain-groved like the mud path your toes touched during typhoon days and clipped nights run over the puddles in your heart and streams behind your eyes: 

less the memory, the chartreuse heart spans. 

And so your friends ask what is it?

You look like you’ve seen a ghost

And the space transformed because of what we became, because of who you are

Because of the, the part that suddenly dropped mid-sentence,


Because we ran across nations and swam and fled oceans which fell in place,

Fell uncrippled into each other’s chambered heart and honeycomb mind, run wet in the wind:

Two ghosts, one silvered and the other blackened, bent and become one.


And I whispered onto your skin:

Collarbone, as beautiful as the celestial curve of falling stars, darkening in the slide of your light again and








for: Mai Huyen Chi

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