Chi Tran <em>If heaven is temporary</em> 2021 (still); single-channel HD video. Courtesy of the artist<br/>
© Chi Tran

Chi Tran

Chi Tran
(b.1994, Naarm/Melbourne. Lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne)

Chi Tran is a writer and artist interested in language as a form of devotion, working mainly through essay, auto-theory and writing exhibition texts for other artists. They often write about grieving for what expression cannot achieve, thinking about the inevitable loss between an event or experience, and the act of writing it into expression.

If heaven is temporary, 2021, marks Tran’s departure from writing into visual storytelling and is the first instalment of a larger, ongoing research project that considers the life and afterlife of language. The short film follows a young woman trying to get to heaven to let those already ascended know that they must prepare for another afterlife. But how will she get there without dying? If heaven is temporary combines elements of fantasy, ritual, physics and different religious concepts of ‘the afterlife’ as a means of trying to understand the experience of what it is to ‘be’ in time.

Tran’s work has been published widely, including by Un. Magazine, Ocula, Disclaimer, Incendium Radical Library Press, Cordite Poetry Review and Liminal. They have also exhibited at galleries including Firstdraft and Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, TCB Art Inc., Sutton Projects and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, and the Murray Art Museum Albury. In 2019, as a recipient of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Tran spent three months in New York developing their practice with renowned poets, including Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Fred Moten and Jackie Wang.

If heaven is temporary appeared in Community Hall on 3–9 Jul 2023.

Film credits
If Heaven Is Temporary, 2021, single-channel video, HD, 8 minutes 51 seconds, courtesy of Chi Tran.