"Your presence on the stand would unfortunately create hesitation on the part of the audience"

The Independent reports that a Vietnamese curator has been barred from a London art fair due to Coronavirus “anxiety”.

An Nguyen’s was due to exhibit an installation at the Affordable Arts Fair Battersea next week.

However, a museum curator specialising in Contemporary Vietnamese Fine Art informed the artist via email that she should not show up.

“The coronavirus is causing much anxiety everywhere, and fairly or not, Asians are being seen as carriers of the virus,” the email said.

“Your presence on the stand would unfortunately create hesitation on the part of the audience to enter the exhibition space.”

“I am very sorry to have to cancel your assistance at the fair next week. I apologise for this and hope we can meet and perhaps work together in the future,” the email concluded.

Nguyen posted a screenshot of the email to Instagram, stating, “I have shared my email without the sender to address non-violent racism. If you are seeing that the issue is solely with the person in question alone it is not.”

“It is the systematic structure of knowledge production that informs some of us that normalising non-aggressive discrimination is acceptable which needs to change.”

In a post on Instagram, the Affordable Arts Fair stated the email was not sent by the Fair itself and was looking into the gallery in question.

“We are aware of a tweet showing a screengrab of an email from an exhibiting gallery requesting an artist not to attend our Fair next week,” the post begins.

“The message was not sent by the Affordable Art Fair and was a communication sent by a gallery to one of their artists. We were not aware of this email communication or its contents and we do not condone the views or implications within the message.”

In an update, the organisers said that the gallery will be barred. “We have now spoken to the gallery and they will no longer be exhibiting at the Fair next week.”

 

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We are aware of a tweet showing a screengrab of an email from an exhibiting gallery requesting an artist not to attend our Fair next week. The message was not sent by the Affordable Art Fair and was a communication sent by a gallery to one of their artists. We were not aware of this email communication or its contents and we do not condone the views or implications within the message. We have tried to contact the gallery who sent the message to request a full retraction and apology. We will also discuss with them their participation at the Fair next week. We wish to reassure that these views are not held by the Affordable Art Fair and we have not instructed any exhibiting gallery to take such action. Over the past twenty years we have championed the diverse creative community that make up the art world through our global calendar of Fairs. We look forward to welcoming international galleries, artists and visitors to our future Fairs. . . UPDATE: We have now spoken to the gallery and they will no longer be exhibiting at the Fair next week. . . For updates on our statement please check the link in our bio.

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In related news, an Asian man was sprayed with a bottle of cleaning product on the New York subway in a Coronavirus-fear-related attack.

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