Hằng Nga Guest House, aka “Crazy House,”, Da Lat, Vietnam
Hang Nga, 1990
Nga was inspired by banyan trees and the work of Antoni Gaudi in designing her extraordinary 10-room guest house. She created paintings, rather than blueprints, to design the non-linear forms. Each room features hand-made, bizarre furnishings and decorations that reflect a specific spirit animal.
"As an object maker I am always on the look-out for things to cast and there are always lots of bones hanging around the studio. I am drawn to bones as objects. The form of the creature is implicit in the bone. I am now working with casts made from a human skeleton. As I pour the wax or break away the plaster, I find I cannot be unaware that I am casting something that has been living, that has walked the earth and is now defunct. As I work away through the technically complex casting ritual I find part of me wondering: was this an adult or juvenile? was it male? female? was it healthy? was it happy? Working in the studio, as the pieces accumulate I am struck by how arresting it is to see multiples of human remains. Not too arresting, I hope - I want to avoid any sense of the crudely sensational. Also, how odd to see crystalline replicas of recognizably human artifacts.