Series of Works


Work on paper, rendering (CGI)

2005 to 2006, 2014

Willem Claeszoon Heda, <em>still life (breakfast)</em>, 1629, oil on wood, public domain
Willem Claeszoon Heda, still life (breakfast), 1629, oil on wood, public domain

The Saigon series shows a hotel room in Saigon where the opening sequence of Francis Ford Coppola’s anti-war film Apocalypse Now (1979) is set. Saigon 1 presents a digital version of this hotel room, where the protagonist Captain Willard is waiting for his mission to start in the middle of the Vietnam War. Only a few rays of sunlight peek through the blinds in this sparsely lit room, while the silhouette of a helicopter can be made out in the background. In the centre of the image we see a table upon which a whiskey glass and bottle are positioned next to some tablets and an unopened airmail letter. In this version the bottle and the glass are still quite full, but in Saigon 2 both have now been emptied. In Saigon 3#1 the whiskey bottle has been replaced by a water bottle, and an opened door shows the way out of the room, while the lighting seems less threatening than in the two previous settings.
While working on the Saigon series, Weyermann was thinking of Flemish still-life painters such as Willem Claeszoon Heda (1594–1680) and Pieter Claesz (1596/1597–1661). Saigon 1 and 2 give the impression of memento mori depictions, which emphasise the ephemeral nature of all human existence. In Apocalypse Now, Coppola focuses on the murder and death that occurred in the Vietnam War and expresses its senselessness, barbarism and absurdity. He was particularly interested in the psychological aspect, something that is also addressed by Weyermann in her series of works. The work Saigon 3#1 outlines an optimistic ending that suggests a way out is apparently possible.

Artworks (7) in the Series

Updated May 30, 2022