Gallery · In Việt Nam

Mệt mỏi | Fatigue

A few weeks ago we shared with you the zine, S P A C E | ‘Fatigue.’

Honestly it was the compilation that resulted from a set of conversations that began in real life spaces here in Saigon, before the city closed. And observations. The culture of moving, constantly, through the day and routines such that no time was spared for basics like catching up with oneself, one’s friends, one’s sleep, even, became more and more commonly seen by us at Atelier S P A C E. Rather than the exception, fatigue was the norm. I could cite articles that led us to this conclusion, but I will leave it in the reporter’s notebook space which isn’t public like this one. Cool.

Mệt mỏi | Fatigue

Artists’ names are below each image

Curated by
Dipika Kohli

Words by


Một cảm giác mệt mỏi chủ quan dần dần khởi phát. Không giống như sự ốm yếu, mệt mỏi có thể được giảm bớt theo thời gian nghỉ ngơi.  Mệt mỏi có thể có nguyên nhân thể chất hoặc tinh thần. Sự mệt mỏi về thể chất là sự mất khả năng thoáng qua của cơ để duy trì hoạt động thể chất tối ưu, và trở nên nghiêm trọng hơn khi tập thể dục mạnh.[1][2][3] Mệt mỏi về tinh thần là một sự giảm thoáng qua về hiệu suất nhận thức tối đa do thời gian hoạt động nhận thức kéo dài. Nó có thể biểu hiện như buồn ngủ, thờ ơ hoặc giảm sự tập trung chú ý.[4]

Về mặt y học, mệt mỏi là một triệu chứng không đặc hiệu, có nghĩa là nó có nhiều nguyên nhân có thể và đi kèm với nhiều điều kiện khác nhau. Mệt mỏi được coi là triệu chứng, chứ không phải là dấu hiệu, bởi vì nó là một cảm giác chủ quan được báo cáo bởi bệnh nhân, chứ không phải là một khách quan mà người khác có thể quan sát. Mệt mỏi và ‘cảm giác mệt mỏi’ thường bị lẫn lộn..[5]

Fabian Oelkers

Gregory Pappas

Mệt mỏi thường được coi là một tình trạng kéo dài hơn buồn ngủ.[6] Mặc dù buồn ngủ có thể là triệu chứng của các vấn đề y tế, nhưng nó thường là do thiếu giấc ngủ ngon hoặc thiếu sự kích thích.[7] Mệt mỏi mãn tính, mặt khác, là một triệu chứng của một vấn đề y tế lớn hơn trong hầu hết các trường hợp. Nó thể hiện sự mệt mỏi về tinh thần hoặc thể chất và không thể hoàn thành nhiệm vụ ở hiệu suất bình thường.[8] Cả hai thường được sử dụng thay thế cho nhau và thậm chí được phân loại theo mô tả ‘mệt mỏi’. Thông thường mệt mỏi được mô tả như là một mệt mỏi không thoải mái, trong khi buồn ngủ là thoải mái hơn.

Mệt mỏi là kết quả của làm việc bình thường, căng thẳng về tinh thần, bị kích thích quá mức, đi máy bay, giải trí quá mức,trầm cảm, chán nản, bệnh tậtthiếu ngủ. Nó cũng có thể có nguyên nhân hóa học, chẳng hạn như ngộ độc, lượng đường trong máu thấp hoặc thiếu hụt khoáng chất hoặc vitamin. Mất máu mãn tính thường dẫn đến mệt mỏi, cũng như các tình trạng khác do thiếu máu. Mệt mỏi khác với buồn ngủ, nơi bệnh nhân cảm thấy rằng giấc ngủ là cần thiết. Mệt mỏi là một phản ứng bình thường đối với gắng sức hoặc căng thẳng về thể chất, nhưng cũng có thể là dấu hiệu của một rối loạn thể chất.

Mệt mỏi tạm thời có thể là một căn bệnh nhỏ như cảm lạnh thông thường như một phần của đáp ứng hành vi bệnh tật xảy ra khi hệ thống miễn dịch chống lại nhiễm trùng.

From Wikipedia:


A feeling of fatigue, subjective, gradually sets in. Unlike illness, fatigue can be alleviated with rest. Fatigue can have physical or mental causes. Physical fatigue is the transient inability of muscles to maintain optimal physical performance, and is aggravated by vigorous exercise. Mental fatigue is a transient decrease in maximal cognitive performance due to prolonged periods of cognitive activity. It may manifest as drowsiness, lethargy, or decreased attention span.

Medically, fatigue is a nonspecific symptom, which means it has many possible causes and is associated with many different conditions. Fatigue is considered a symptom, rather than a sign, because it is a subjective feeling reported by the patient, rather than an objective one that can be observed by others. Fatigue and ‘feeling of fatigue’ are often confused..[5]

Fatigue is generally considered to be a longer-lasting condition than drowsiness.[6] Although drowsiness can be a symptom of medical problems, it is usually due to lack of good sleep or lack of stimulation.[7] Chronic fatigue, on the other hand, is a symptom of a larger medical problem in most cases. It represents mental or physical fatigue and an inability to complete tasks at normal performance.[8] The two are often used interchangeably and are even classified under the description ‘fatigue’. Usually fatigue is described as an uncomfortable fatigue, while drowsiness is more comfortable.

Fatigue is the result of normal work, mental stress, overstimulation, airplane travel, excessive entertainment, depression, boredom, illness, and lack of sleep. It can also have a chemical cause, such as poisoning, low blood sugar, or a mineral or vitamin deficiency. Chronic blood loss often leads to fatigue, as well as other conditions caused by anemia. Fatigue is different from drowsiness, where the patient feels that sleep is necessary. Fatigue is a normal response to physical exertion or stress, but can also be a sign of a physical disorder.

Temporary fatigue can be as minor as the common cold as part of a disease behavioral response that occurs when the immune system fights off an infection.

From Wikipedia:

S P A C E | ‘Fatigue’

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Strange Geometries · WORK

Social sustainability

Since arriving in Vietnam and finding myself looking around me, mostly just people watching, for most of most days from the time I got to Saigon in September up until a few weeks ago when the city closed up for social distancing, I have been seeing people get very tired form a work culture that, I’m really dismayed to find, when I see it, all around me, obsessing about the dollar and sacrificing just about everything else towards the goal of making a few bucks. I want to make something new, next.

A social enterprise, without the BS factor that you and I both know that a lot of companies use to try to market themselves. I’m tired of seeing people I know and whose work I value being exploited and overused, and they come back, so tired, so fatigued, that the Art of everything becomes so remote, so lost, so… irrelevant… that it breaks up the feelings of wanting to keep questing, keep learning, keep inquiring, and keep making. With me. Selfishly, I want to make more art with more creative people, and that’s why I want to get started on a new venture.

Maybe something like Fare Start in Seattle, where people grow their own food, and find jobs in kitchens that employ those who need to learn new skills, and then, voila, they make a restaurant and serve people and generate income, from that. I don’t know. It’s a lot of thinking, right now, and less action. Naturally. We’re in a semi-lockdown phase, so I’ve got time to dream up a new thing. But yeah. I want to keep writing and talking more about Social Sustainability here on the blog and in real life when I can. It’s best if it’s in real life, because you know, that’s where you learn a lot from the indirect nature of how humans communicate. Let me see what I can do, meantime, though, to teach myself what this is and set up something, when I get to the next spot, here in Vietnam.

For now, this.




‘One of the major reasons behind the recent state of fatigue among Vietnamese people is burnout—a condition in which a person feels exhausted and exhibits reduced productivity following prolonged stress,’ writes Tuoi Tre News in a story called, ‘Burnout, workplace stress put damper on success in Vietnam’ published on May 11, 2021.

It checks with our own observations living in Saigon during a difficult time when many young people feel the pressure to support not only their own lives in the city, but often, others back home in places far from here where money is scarce. And even more so, given the pandemic’s drastic effects on the economy worldwide.

A few notes from the article..

‘More and more patients have sought professional aid in this matter. The psychology department of the University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City welcomes a daily average of eight to nine people from different age groups who have burnout problems. 

Where did the joy go? ‘A Vietnamese woman named M. has spent the last 20 years devoting herself to work. She moved up the ladder from a newbie staff member to manager and she currently acts as the deputy chief executive officer of a technology company. She has found herself up to her ears in work in recent years. Her work hours start at 7:00 am and she does not sign off until very late in the evening. Phone calls and messages constantly appear, keeping her absolutely occupied. Instead of bragging about the joy she has, the 45-year-old woman confessed otherwise despite her career success. “I’ve felt really tired, as if my head was stiff. I wake up every morning feeling scared for the coming day,” she said. “I’m scared of everything. I’m really down spirited. The internal conflict grows day by day.”… T.A.T. is a 26-year-old secretary working for a Japanese firm in Ho Chi Minh City. Her first days at work were a wonder, but three months into the job revealed to her that the work did not live up to her expectations. She has been under constant stress. “I feel that all of my energy is drained out the moment a new day begins,” she said. “It’s like butterflies in my stomach. My heart beats faster.”

Do you have a story to share about your own experiences of work, working a lot, working so much you don’t know what it was like to live a life where there was something besides work in it? If yes, get in touch. We’re going to curate a special exhibition of stories and images around this exact theme: Fatigue.