New York Times Trap - Vietnam Version

Ryan Foerster
November 25 - December 26, 2014

109 Cao Dat, District 5, HCMC Saigon


From November 25 to December 26, 2014, it was possible to see a sculpture by the New York artist Ryan Foerster hung on a drink vendor’s stand on a street in Saigon.

With recycled materials and anything at hand, the American artist makes images, fanzines and objects of a radically poor aesthetic full of meaning. With his sculpture titled "New York Times Trap" (an ordinary newspaper connected to an old pan by a rope), Foerster creates a cause-and-effect relation between the world of the media and the reality of everyday life. It is a clearly readable equation: on the one hand, the abundance of information, the full, the yang; on the other hand, the absence of food, the void, the yin. The artwork is a double trap that the artist creates to capture an idea.

In an extreme economy, the cost of this project, US$20, is equal to the salary offered to the street vendor to hang the artwork for a one-month period. The event happened without any publicity, leaving the artwork for public view without advertisement and stirring the curiosity of passersby.

In Vietnam, poverty creates forms on the streets that come out of an amazing creativity, a sort of bricolage based on elementary logic systems. In this environment, Foerster’s work is an intruder, an object that we can compare with other objects, an object whose reason of being we can question. And it is at this precise moment that it produces thought, that the artwork exists.

This experience, an idea of the gallerist José Martos, can be recreated in different contexts, always with the aim of asking questions about the status of the artwork and its autonomy, the exhibition and its forms.

Frédéric Sanchez