Solo Artist 2022

Hien Hoang

Asia Bistro  Made in Rice

The first time I saw an Asia Bistro was during my summer school in Berlin, Germany. When I took a closer look at the menu, I was surprised to see that it also offered dishes from Vietnam, China, Thailand, Malaysia, and many other countries. Without hesitation, I ordered the spring rolls. The familiar yet foreign taste of these crispy rolls was probably the reason why I started my work “Asia Bistro – Made in Rice” 8 years later.

“Asia Bistro – Made in Rice” is an interdisciplinary project where I use photography, performance, objects and installations to address stereotypes about Asians and the underlying discrimination of the “good immigrant”. The central figure of the project – food, which is actually for nourishment, becomes a metaphor for cliches about Asian cultures – a limitation, a cover, a mask. I also collected artifacts and memories about discrimination from my family and community, and then transformed them into images and multimedia installations. In this process, the places and spaces become an extension of my work.

In addition, “Asia Bistro – Made in Rice” reflects the volatility and impermanence of the theme of “identities” in the Asian diaspora community. It is also about understanding the formation of my own identity and the processual development of my artistic exploration.

The project manifests in a 3-channel performance video, complemented by photography and print-based artworks. Using images of food and the plexiglas—a material symbolizing consumerism and industrialization—I translate stereotypes into tangible forms. The destructive movement in the performance, together with the deformed plexiglasses, were integrated into installations, create immersive experiences that provoke thought and dialogue on the complexities of cultural identity and discrimination.

BIOGRAPHY

Hiền Hoàng (1990) is an interdisciplinary artist from Vietnam based in Germany. Hoàng’s work explores cultural narratives, human-nature relationships, and identity complexities.Her artistic repertoire includes photography, installation, performance, film, VR and object art.

In her project “Asia Bistro – Made in Rice” (2019-2021), she challenged stereotypes against Asian immigrants using food symbolism and unconventional materials like Plexiglas, inviting critical reflection on cultural identity and discriminatory policies. She was featured as one of the winner artists at Copenhagen Photo Festival 2022.

Recognized with awards nomination and grants from the European Commission, Kulturbehörde Hamburg and Kunstfond stiftung, Hoàng’s exhibitions have been featured at prestigious venues, including Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles, CAPA Center Budapest, Centro Cibeles Madrid, etc. 

Her artistic journey is characterized by pushing the boundaries of perception through diverse media—from experimental films to immersive installations—engaging viewers in emotive landscapes and introspection.