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Space 1: Three Rivers

This space introduces three Rivers, which became flooded during torrential rain storms in three countries. These rivers are:

The Marikina River flowing through Metro Manila in the Philippines

The Red River passing through Hanoi, Vietnam

The Dee River flowing through Aberdeenshire in the United Kingdom

The artworks in this section are done by Nicole AL Archer and Melanie Shand.

The location of the three rivers

The Marikina River in the Philippines — Metro Manila - Latitude: 14° 34’ 59.99” N, Longitude: 121° 00’ 0.00” E. Located within the Marikina River catchment; part of the Pasig-Marikina-Laguna Lake complex. Climate is tropical with a tropical monsoon season and receives an average annual rainfall of 206 cm.

The Red River in Vietnam — Hanoi - Latitude: 21° 01’ 28.20” N, Longitude: 105° 50’ 28.21” E. Situated beside Hanoi, within the Red River Delta. Climate is humid subtropical with dry winters and has an annual precipitation of 104 cm.

The Dee River located in the north-east of Scotland, UK, Latitude: 57° 08’ 37.28” N, Longitude: -2° 05’ 53.30” W. This river is fed by the waters of the Central Highland Mountains. Summers are mild, winters typically cold, receiving 87 cm of precipitation annually.

A viewpoint from the river

For most people, the initial viewpoint of a seeing a river is normally standing on its banks. In this space, the river is intended to be viewed from the water of the river, as though the viewer is almost immersed in the water of the river or they are in the river's surroundings.

The Philippines

Nicole AL Manley

Waters of the Marikina, 2019

Underwater film stills, printed on di-bond composite panel.​

The series of six film stills show snap shots of the Marikina River, from it's waters above the Wawa Dam through the city in Metro Manila where it partially flows into the Passig River to reach the sea in Manila Bay.

Nicole AL Manley

Waters above the Wawa Dam, 2019

Underwater film stills, printed on silk and hung by bamboo and leather

The water of the Marikina River above the Wawa Dam hides freshwater life below it's surface and at the same time allows the necessary transport of goods through the slopes of steep mountains.


Nicole AL Manley

The Rivers of Hòa Bình Dam, 2018

Digital print on silk. Bamboo and canvas

The Hòa Bình Dam on the Sông Đà (Black River), a tributary of the Red River, is one of the largest hydroelectric dams in Southeast Asia, having a generating capacity of 1,920 MW. The Sông Đà Reservoir was formed by the dam and holds up to 9 billion m³ of water from the many rivers that converge into the Reservoir. 

Nicole AL Manley

The Limestone of the Suoi Yen, 2018

Digital print on silk. Bamboo and canvas

The Red River and many of its tributary’s flow through limestone landscape, which is also a rock that is connected to water because it is formed of calcium carbonate which originates from organisms living in the sea, such as shellfish, coral and diatoms. 

Thin section slides, which make up the image are made by taking a very thin slice of rock attaching it to a glass slide and shining polarized light through the thin section under a microscope. If you look closely some of these thin sections contain fossils.

Nicole AL Manley

The meeting of the sea and mountains, 2015

Digital print on silk. Bamboo and canvas

There is a Vietnamese folktale that Lac Long Quan, (a magician dragon king), who came from the sea, took as his wife, Au Co, a fairy princess from the mountains. Later Au Co delivered a sack of a hundred eggs, which hatched to become the Viet people. According to folklore Lac Long Quan told his wife: “I am of the race of dragons living in the sea. You are of the race of fairies living in the mountains. We must separate. Go to the highlands with our fifty sons. I’ll rejoin the sea with the fifty others”. The divine spouses thus separated, creating two domains, one population living in the mountains and the other living on the coast.


This folktale connects the Viet people to the sea and the mountains. In another way, the Red River (shown as a red lines) connects the people in the mountains to the people living on the coast.

The United Kingdom

Melanie Shand

Feugh Water in Spate, 2015

Panoramic photograph printed on Satin. Hung with oak and jute rope.

The Feugh Water is the largest tributary of the Dee River. The River Dee begins in the Central Cairngorm mountains and flows through Aberdeenshire, reaching the North sea at the city of Aberdeen. The River Dee is famous for its Atlantic Salmon, which migrates from the sea to spawn in the upper waters of the Dee catchment. In the last ten years, rainfall has become more intense, causing rivers to flood more frequently.

Melanie Shand

A safe haven for sheep, 2015

Panoramic photograph printed on Satin. Hung with oak and jute rope.

The region of the Dee River is mainly rural and the local people depend on farming mainly sheep and cattle. They also depend on tourism and fishing of salmon. During the winter during heavy rainfall, sheep and cattle require access to higher land away from rivers, to avoid flooding waters.

Nicole AL Manley

Tributaries of the Dee River, 2020

Underwater film stills, printed on di-bond composite panel.

The tributaries of the river Dee have many different colours relating to the amount of sediment, algae, and organic carbon present in the water. Many rivers in the mountains are brown or yellow because of passing through peat soil, others appear white because of rapid, swirling movement of water and some are calm and green, due to algae living abundantly in the water.

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