Hinterlands was an 3 month residency project culminating in an exhibition that I organized at The Luggage Store Gallery in 2012. We brought artists from Hanoi and Shanghai to work together in San Francisco.


Nguyen Phuong Linh, Nguyen Tran Nam, Lu Yang and Gabby Miller at The Luggage Store Gallery. San Francisco, CA. Curated by Gabby Miller.  2012. 

Press Release // Luggage Store Website

HINTERLANDS aims to merge faraway places. We have transported the hinterlands of Hanoi, through the art and artists that engage with Nha San Studio, Vietnam’s longest running experimental arts space, to a kindred space in San Francisco – The Tenderloin National Forest / Luggage Store Gallery, where 40% of the surrounding neighborhood population is of Southeast Asian descent.

HINTERLANDS is The Luggage Store’s first artistic exchange involving artists born, raised and based in Vietnam. HINTERLANDS consists of a three month residency project in which four artists work in collaboration. This project culminates in an exhibition of new works by two of Hanoi’s most exciting young artists. Nguyen Phuong Linh and Nguyen Tran Nam join Lu Yang, a multi-media artist from Shanghai and Gabby Miller from The Bay Area.

Hanoi, which translates to “the hinterland between the rivers” is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of Northern Vietnam.

The hinterland is the uncharted areas beyond a coastal district or a river’s banks. It is the part of a country where only a few people live and where the infrastructure is weak.

The hinterland is beyond what is visible and known, the back country of the mind, the not yet imagined. It is the far-a-way place.

Nhasan Studio Founded in 1998, Nha San Studio is the longest running experimental arts space in Vietnam. It is a Muong ethnic minority house on wooden stilts, transported piece by piece from the mountains in Hoa Binh province to the outskirts of Hanoi. Moonlighting as family home and business, Nha San circumvents the law requiring approval for any public exhibition in Vietnam by registering gatherings as private events. Nha San Studio can been understood in multiple ways as a hinterland of Vietnam – few inhabitants, distinct from but influenced by the state, and a space to go beyond the imagination.

This project was made possible by generous funding from The ACC, The Furlotti Family Foundation and The Walter and Elise Haas Family Foundation. 

Shooting for Lu Yang's "Power of Will 4.0: Lazer Lez" at Nguyen Phuong Linh's apartment in Hanoi, 2011. Shot during our performance art symposium "IN:ACT YEAR 2"