Lêna Bùi is an artist based in Ho Chi Minh City, concerned with how different cultural and sociopolitical backgrounds affect our perception. She is also interested in how things connect and interact with each other, in how subtle everyday rituals can reflect beliefs and influence the way we behave, and in broader questions regarding the nature of existence and reality.
While in residence, Lêna explored zoonosis research - the study of diseases, such as influenza, which can pass from animals to humans. She visited rural farming areas where researchers are investigating the human- animal interface of "high risk cohorts" - people with high levels of occupational exposure to animals (farmers, animal traders, abattoir and market workers). She also travelled further afield, visiting small villages with long histories of economies based on harvesting bird feathers. Her role as an artist enabled her to engage with communities where scientists might otherwise encounter obstructions.
The outcomes of Lêna's residency are works that respond to the complex and intimate nature of human- animal contact, while inviting us to question our consumption habits and relationships with other living creatures.
Research centre: Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam