CAMAMOTO: Along their milestones

By Vipash Purichhanont

It was a coincident when I first arrived in Ho Chi Minh City for a research and encountered Huang Duong Cam who was waiting to pick Takayuki Yamamoto up at the airport. One week later, we met again at dia/projects where I lived as a research-in-residence. I eventually learned that they have been working collaboratively as a duo, namely ‘CAMAMOTO’. Combining their surname (Cam + Yamamoto) as a reference to their collective series of work, Cam and Yamamoto have been performing as unrelated twin-brothers who share various similarity such as ages, living condition and childhood memories. Started form Tokyo Wonder Site residency program in 2009, they sought to explore possibilities of the alternative life in this contemporary society that quite transnational, yet addressing several similarity issues that have been emerged in this Eastern Asia cultural sphere. In 2010, with the support of Japan Foundation, Camamoto twin has came to Vietnam, the country of another twin, to introduce their artwork to broader public.

Developing their concept from this journey, Camamoto is taking this exhibition as a step forward to challenge themselves with another context. Returning from one’s homeland to another’s, It is quite ironic to say that this twin had been constructing their idea from their ‘origins’ that should be singular, and this duality is a possibility of this collective unity; similar but not the same. “On Each Milestone” is not only the exhibition that return them to their semi - homeland but also put them through an unforgettable adventure. Using video installation as a medium, Camamoto’s work recalls an experience of a typical road trip of a middle-class Asian family. Participated in this road movie as a twin, Camamoto played their roll as a family members who seeking. Yet they could not find such a thing. The film takes us to our urban myth, the demanding to adventurous experience outside the city. Unlike the Westerns idea of travel, the video is likely to reflex our Asian mindset that mostly focused on the ‘aim’ and overlooked the ‘mean’. Paradoxically, reproductive ability of the medium, anyhow, allows us to re-experience the trip precisely and see ‘each’ of the ‘milestones’ along the way.

As the work takes us to the picturesque locations of Vietnam, it also aims to explore the historic geo-body of the space such as the remaining of minor ethnic culture. Needless to say what they had discovered, it is certain that the experience came along the way. Although they journal to the making of this work may end, the incident was secured in the film. Camamoto may ready to take off for their new journey, nevertheless, it was an experience of each milestones that had left to be seen by the audiences.