Caroline Ho-Bich-Tuyen Dang


Instead of imagining mass movements or calling for community action, I am interested in finding a more personal relationship to our ecological crisis. Through everyday living I use the micro-climate of the garden and home to create a desired world order. Following the saying Think Globally, Act Locally or the 60s saying, The Personal is Political, these works are anti-monumental. There is no heroism intended nor is there a lecturing-finger pointing out wrong doers. This is a practice which is intertwined with an unspoken cooperation with nature through everyday activities outside in the garden and inside within the home. By implementing interdisciplinary mediums and techniques in my art-making, I explore the potential connections of the present dilemmas between nature and human in our changing economy. Activities in the garden are strongly informed by permaculture, which is a design system following the operations of nature and maximising the resources available within nature. This has shown to be effective with results showing many areas flourishing without conventional gardening practices, i.e. ways to capture and retain water.

The abundance of growth will mean a high surplus in the harvest season. Fruits and vegetation are harvested throughout the growing season and in autumn. The preparation and storing of the harvest is also part of the cyclic rhythm essentially integrated into my art practice. Making jams; pickling; fermenting; drying and freezing is, in addition, an appreciation for the sacredness of the Earth. This slow process of working and watching growth is an active deliberation to counteract with the fast moving society of today.

My inclusive practice of garden work; food preparation is understood as a form of activism that lends itself to a life philosophy that is mindful and pays tribute to our daily activities that effectively makes connection with nature.

My position as an artist is constantly questioned and challenged by the activities and work that is not conventionally seen as art and has become increasingly obscured and merges into the vernacular. The thoughts and feelings for a need to do something more about the ecological crisis in the world is sometimes too difficult a subject to understand, let alone tackle and do something about. I think and question whether what I do every day is enough to help or lessen the impact of my humanly footprint. Recycle/reuse/upcycle; grow my own food; compost; avoid plastic products; no car; go vegetarian; use computer less; consume less; no palm oil; support organic local farmers; the number of advice is numerous and there is always something or someone to follow/listen. These projects are a new direction of art making that is a reaction and response to wanting to contribute to a new world with a sense of a greater awareness of my own personal responsibility in a globally conscious and challenged society.