My work explores challenges and contradictions at the interface of multiple cultural identities and this intensive residency added rich insights and new dimensions to my life and practice.”

Nestled on Hanoi’s Red River, Bat Trang is a Vietnamese village with seven centuries of ceramics history. This is where Australian artist, Mai Nguyen-Long recently undertook a five-week residency with artist Bang Si Truc and artisan Pham Anh Duc at Bat Trang Conservation and Tourism Development.

With $2000 support from the Copyright Agency’s Career Fund, Mai aimed to experiment with making ceramics for the first time. Translating and extending some of her existing mediums – painting, drawing, papier-mache sculpture – Mai created stoneware objects by throwing, hand-building, decorating, glazing and firing. The experience intimately exposed her to large volume ‘people-powered’ production lines.

Mai learned about Vietnamese social rituals, language, ceramic traditions, fragile circumstances and robust spirits. The residency had a huge impact on her artistic outlook, and she is already extending her exploration of ceramics in Australia.

You can learn more about Mai Nguyen-Long and her work here.