Trương Công Tùng was born in the Central Highlands of Vietnam to a family belonging to the majority Kinh community who had recently moved to the lands of the Jrai Indigenous community—a circumstance that has significantly impacted his views on his artistic practice and political engagements. Truong is influenced by traditional spiritual practices of Vietnam, some of which are shaped by Buddhism, to investigate modes of being with non-humans that emerge within these traditions, including plants, insects, and spirits. In Blind Map, he invites a colony of termites to occupy a length of canvas and presents the traces of their vigorous activity in a form that is both random and repetitive as the canvas is unwrapped. Through this process, a transfiguration takes place where the artist becomes termite, and the termite becomes a painter, creating a space of indistinct identity across species.

Work in the exhibition: Blind Map (2013), canvas roll eaten by termites, 600 × 150 cm. Courtesy of Post Vidai Collection, Saigon and Geneva