Even before February, dubbed Love Month, we’ve already witnessed a few notable record-breaking music hits. From Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, becoming the most-streamed song in a single week in Spotify history, to the release of Shakira‘s BZRP Music Session, turning her into the first Latina artist with the most monthly listeners to SZA topping the Billboard chart for six continuous weeks, this sure amplifies a strong start for female singers.
And it’s quite easy to recognize that these songs have one thing in common. They are heartbreak anthems beautifully revealed in different melodies.
From the soulful R&B “Kill Bill” to the blunt but catchy dance track by Shakira and the romantic self-love ballad by Miley Cyrus, their songs make listeners feel “seen,” validating their pain as part of human nature. These female singers fight against the notion of commercialized optimism and remind us that our lives contain all spectrums of emotions. Evidently, they have channeled their frustration, anger, and discomfort into creating their crafts, and these songs have blossomed into works that are both magnificent in sound and, more importantly, relatable.
When ‘Art’ meets ‘Therapy’
Alain de Botton, in his book called “Art As Therapy,” said, ”I believe art is ultimately a therapeutic medium, just like music. It, too, is a vehicle through which we can do such things as recover hope, dignity suffering, develop empathy and regain a sense of political idealism.”
Art therapy is a tool therapists use to help patients discuss, express their emotions and thoughts, and the end goal is to have a new valuable perspective.
Like the music of the three great female artists mentioned above, other mediums can be used to communicate past traumas. At MoT+++, artists are encouraged to channel their stories and feelings through different mediums to create works of art.
AiYeuAi : Love in the 21st century
For Quoc Anh Le (b.1999), he translates his memories of love into painting. With his minimalist approach but expressive feelings, a series of six paintings, named “Eros, Erotoropia, Philautia, Philia, Pragma, Storge” and “Agápe" brings him back to the love that he will be forever connected to.
Using painting to convey his vulnerability while going through this lost love, Quoc Anh paid tribute to the person who he experienced these feelings for but also connected with many audiences who are going through such circumstances.
For Cam Xanh, she reflects on her experiences with digital signs and symbols, with endless repetition of the word “LOVE” through her “AiYeuAi” event
Her “Colors of My Heart” includes 7 rainbow colors heart emojis for 7 days of the week and one black for the “nights,” a series of digital prints under acrylic that examines the depth of the relationship between personal feelings/trauma with the theory of pixelated reality in quantum physics and the physical pixilated brokenness of today “heartfelt” emo-images.
To her, this process regains the balance in her life, and the physical release was not to the situation that has given her pain but for her to manifest her energy into these extreme splashes of color. She demonstrates herself getting better and blossoming back into life.
What can you expect in MoT+++ in 2023?
During the pandemic, with such doubtful circumstances, MoT+++ has supported artists to practice their art in Vietnam. A.Farm, established in 2018, is an international art residency and when the pandemic hit, A.Farm became not only a safe place to social distance but a place where the motivation to focus on positivity and creativity was encouraged.
Saverio Tonoli (b.1984, Italy) spent a period of 4 months in A.Farm as part of the season 3 program, double the time of what his residency was supposed to be. From this extraordinary situation, Tonoli was able to continue his practice and developed a series of ink washes and nomoprinting, composing water patterns and atmospheres with color layers.
In the summer of 2020, Mot+++ hosted in memory of Season 1 A.Farm Resident and MoT+++ collective member Lananh Le, with a full 12-hour screening of one digital painting from her last show. Performances from Kim Trang, Dat Nguyen, and Ian Ritcher were given, with sound /dance performances by Doan Toan, Trang Ly, and Dat Nguyen.
Our mission and aim during times of despair and difficulties were inspired by the many great artists that we support. Practicing art has lifted our spirits up, and as we look forward to a year where normality is evident, wounds from the last 3 years of what is such a life-changing experience for all of us are still presented. MoT+++ hopes to be an encouraging voice to not just our family, friends, and peers but to our whole community.