Collective reading and artist talk with Pris Roos and Benjamin Li

Join us online for the collective reading of the publication ‘Written Words of A vinh Tran’ created by Pris Roos as part of her work for the exhibition ‘On Collective Care & Togetherness’, currently on display at MAMA.

A vinh Tran, the mother of a childhood friend of Pris Roos, is a Chinese woman who fled Vietnam in the 1970s. Her story is at the heart of the work of Pris Roos and has been captured in the publication entitled ‘Written Words of A vinh Tran’, which is part of the larger installation that tells the story of a Vietnamese refugee boat.

The collective reading will be followed by a conversation between artists Pris Roos and Benjamin Li moderated by Leana Boven. During this conversation, Pris Roos and Benjamin Li will talk about art and activism within the Asian-Dutch community and will share some of their reflections and experiences navigating the art world as artists of Asian-Dutch background.

As part of the event, we will provide you with a very special care package which will include a copy of Pris Roos’ ‘Written Words of A vinh Tran’ and many other materials selected carefully by the artist.

prisroos_avinhtranCourtesy of Pris Roos.
Practical information

This event is free. If you would like to participate, please email before Thursday 10 December indicating whether you prefer your care package to be delivered to your home or if you want to pick it up from the showroom at Witte de Withstraat. Please note that your name, contact details and postal address will be required to arrange the delivery of the care packages.

The care packages will be hand-delivered to addresses in Rotterdam on the 10th of December and will also be ready for collection from MAMA next week during normal opening hours:

Thursday 10 December: 14:00–18:00
Friday 11 December: 14:00–20:00
Saturday 12 December: 14:00–18:00

The event will be limited to 15 participants and will take place over Zoom. Zoom ID and password will be sent over email before the event begins.

‘Reading the Words of A vihn Tran’ is organised by Team MAMA’s Álvaro Talavera and is part of the exhibition ‘On Collective Care & Togetherness’, which can be experienced at MAMA until 9 January 2021.

  • Pris Roos

Pris Roos grew up in Rhenen, the Netherlands. Her family migrated from Bogor, Indonesia, to start their own toko in the Netherlands. Toko is the Indonesian word for shop, and they sell non-Western food (products). Roos grew up in the toko, a space of being together, and full of colours, smells, food, stories and images of immigrants. The toko is a source of inspiration for her artistic practices. 

Stories that are normally not heard find their way in her works. Roos makes portraits of immigrants that she meets in the toko, on the streets or in her surroundings of the South of Rotterdam. She visits them at home or invites them to her atelier. The stories do not only get translated into painted portraits, but also in video, installations and spoken word performances. 

Pris Roos works and lives in Rotterdam.

  • Benjamin Li

Different forms of identity, cultural heritage, integration and sense of home are important themes in the work of Benjamin Li. He finds inspiration in everyday life, social media and personal events. Li’s work functions as a mirror making use of stereotypes and existing misunderstandings.

Li is currently working on a large project investigating the origin of the Chinese community in the Netherlands, specifically focused on foodways and the development of the Chinese restaurant and its relationship to Dutch-Indonesian (food) culture.

In a previous work Li investigated communication and ways of looking to images in advertisements on different commodity markets. This resulted in a large database consisting of hundreds of conversations about the items he seemingly offered.

Li holds a BA in Pyschology and Photography. He graduated in 2016 from the master Media Design and Communication at the Piet Zwart Institute.

About IRL

Our lives are dominated by the self-produced realities that we encounter on the internet and social media. This tension between fact and fiction touches upon the core of our leitmotiv IN REAL LIFE. The only way to escape the post-truth is to meet each other in real life. We facilitate these meetings in the form of readings, lectures, masterclasses, workshops, excursions and parties that tangibly express the ideas behind HOME | IN REAL LIFE | NETWORKS.


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