This piece was only meant for that space in Hanoi Studio Gallery, looking down to that particular corner of Dong Du Street in Ho Chi Minh City. And I made it more out of my own need than any kind of message for the audience.
I needed to feel in touch with life there again. What do I mean by life? I can never tell exactly what it was that I wanted to feel in touch with. It could be the people in the city, or the city itself, or that street where I had used to walk everyday, which felt like decades ago, or the atmosphere... Or perhaps it was my own past there that I wanted to reach.
I came back, and I felt like a stranger in my city, in my family, among my friends. I could never quite step out of the dreamy state when I was there. God knows how hard I tried during those months. I wanted to shake hands with the life that had been going on without me, but never succeeded.
Sponge was a game, in which I tried to reduce the reality to a minimal degree and copy it. So that at least I could think that I was able to grasp a small piece of that reality. I made a wooden tunnel and fixed it to the glass door on the second floor of the gallery. Then every morning at 9.00 am sharp, I went there, walked into the tunnel, looked out to find some colors from the street: of store signs, cars, rooftops, trees, sidewalks... then I sat down to mix paints to achieve the colors, and painted into stripes on the inner wall of the tunnel. I left at 5.00pm, and came back the next day, doing exactly the same thing, for a week.
When the piece was exhibited, spectators were invited to go inside the tunnel.