Two Vietnamese artists based in Sydney’s southwest are helping keep us connected to the city we love while in lockdown. Hosted online by Bankstown Arts Centre, the new digital exhibition Time Pass is a love letter to the local area, offering an intimate insight into how it’s changed over the years.
The idea is really cute, with markers pinned to a black and white interactive map depicting Bankstown’s winding streets. You drag the map around and click on the markers you uncover at will. Up pop artworks inspired by the evolving shape of the neighbourhood.
Mylyn Nguyen’s beautifully detailed tiny models depict stop offs that are part of the everyday fabric of life in the suburb, like Chau's Pharmacy on Chapel Road South and the Anh Tuấn Butchery in Bankstown City Plaza. She spends hours recreating the details of the buildings, using carboard, plastic, plaster and acrylic paint, and even makes all of the objects inside, including cash registers. Looking at them from this angle, instead of scurrying by in a hurry below, you can soak up the incongruently glamorous remnants of glorious old facades above their awnings. Never have the skip bins out back looked so good either.
Nguyen recalls growing up in the area. “From 4 to 6 every day I was content to simply sit and wait for my mum in the car at the small parking lot next to 29 Greenfield Parade. Sometimes I ponder the cat next door, listen to music, draw a little and maybe walk up to 83 North Terrace, but most of the time I would sit in silence, watching people, cars, clouds, birds, garbage bins and time pass.”
Garry Trinh’s beautiful polaroid snaps capture the hood in a series dubbed ‘Mapping Bankstown’, each of which have been adorned with ink and enamel jottings. Not unlike Nguyen’s illustrations, Trinh’s works reveal the magic hidden within the mundane.