No-where or Now-here, the first collaborative effort by three artists from Vietnam and Japan, will be on exhibit in Hanoi until November 20.

The exhibition is part of a project funded by the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange aimed at introducing promising young artists to broader audiences in Vietnam as well as providing an opportunity for the artists to explore further development of their creativity.

Motoyuki Shitamichi, Mamoru Okuno and Tuan Mami first met at the Tokyo Wonder Site through its artist-in-residence programme.

As their discussions grew, they became interested in each other's views and concepts, and gradually felt something common in their artwork.

This exhibition is their first attempt, after finding congenial spirits in each other in Tokyo, to create new art through their observations and research in Hanoi. Shitamichi and Mamoru stayed in Hanoi for one month to complete the project.

"We pass things by without knowing it, and yet, there it is," said Shitamichi. He visualises unseen memories and values in ordinary landscapes through simple materials like old wooden planks and bricks.

He focuses attention on things that are placed on streets to cross over gaps; a wooden chip or a stone turns into something like a "bridge" when it is put in the exhibition.

"I fancy that, in Hanoi, people return home by bike, crossing over something like the ‘bridge'. I think these "bridges" are the smallest units of necessary things and one of the smallest actions in such landscapes," Shitamichi said, explaining his concept.

His installation traces ordinary life. As a photographer, he visualises this existing world once again in his framework.

"I believe that it is an action which produces looks at unknown, non-monumental street corners. This is how I want to relate myself to this world directly."

Okuno helps audiences to enhance their imagination through ordinary sounds and voices. His installation entitled Etude No11 features 200 steel hangers at varying levels with two fans. Okuno also displays a piece called The Way I Hear.

When he arrived in Hanoi, he started to take notes of the sounds that he encountered. "When I was sitting at a cafe near a church one day, I heard people eating sunflower seeds. The little cracking sound, very often accompanied by the chatting of other people, gives unique rhythm to the continuous sound of the traffic. It has not become an art piece yet, but I always start from this kind of interest," he said.

As it is inspiring to see how people live, he said he hoped his work would also enrich their perspectives of lives, and introduce some other way to use common objects by focusing on the sounds they make.

Vietnamese artist Tuan inspired audiences to think about the social relationships of human beings through his performance at the opening ceremony on Oct. 28 and his photographs at the exhibition.

In his project Celebration of OurMoment and Love, he leaves a lot of space for people to participate and create the central part of the piece as if he is exchanging the role between the spectators and himself as an artist.

He is trying to evoke the alternative senses in daily life that are already there. However, at the same time, they can be nowhere if no one considers them.

"I am talking about the fragility of life, ephemeral moments, the brokenness, and the disappearance of the relationships between man and man, between action and action, sense and sense," Tuan said.

The exhibition runs until November 20 at 27 Quang Trung Street, Ha Noi. There will be talks by the artists at 7pm on Nov. 3 at Nha San Studio, 462 Buoi Road./.