Food for the dead

2020 – ongoing

„Honour your ancestors.
Set up a home altar.
Offer fruits and light incese sticks.
Remember your grandfather on his deathday and prepare him his favourite meal.“

This work is about honouring traditions and rituals, while at the same time questioning its position in our current times and place, as well as its history and its development. How can we continue certain traditions in a modern world – how can we adapt? What has changed and what does our modern life need? Can these rituals and traditions help us in our modern world?

The series is exploring the tradition of worshipping and honouring ancestors, the mourning process of losing a beloved one and what meaning food brings to the process of grieving.

The work consists of research material, photographs of Thi My Lien Nguyen’s family archive and her own images.

Three Grains of Rice and Some Gold
exhibition, 02/06 – 17/07/22 at Coalmine Winterthur

In 2022, I put together a first exhibition of this body of work, which is still very much ongoing and a work-in-progress. The show focuses on the tension and duality of being multicultural, dealing with loss and grief and thinking in cycles. 

Next to the show, I activated the installation with a shared dinner experience in addition with a guided tour by the curator Annette Amberg.

exhibition documentation by Guadalupe Ruiz