The Story Behind "Pool Party"
My friend Emily/Ngọc came to Canada via Edmonton in her 20s was telling me about a time she returned to Vietnam and visited a public swimming pool. She was horrified to see everyone fully clothed in the pool. But pools were a novelty for a largely rural population. Only rich people would have access to them. So if no-one owns a bathing suit, what else are they going to wear? Also, elders are definitely not going into the pool. Someone has to watch the bags.
Artist Commentary: I was sitting in my friend’s Ba Le shop when she told me this story and we talked about a potential painting. She suggested the grandparents should be watching the bags because that’s what they do and her husband thought that people would make fun and be laughing at them. “But it’s the truth!” she said.