Exhibition “Destination I”

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    zaim durulaman
    Artwork of Zaim Durulaman

    Opening: Sat 24 Mar, 5 pm
    Exhibition: 24 Mar – 01 Apr 2012
    Vietnam Fine Arts Museum

    From the organizer:

    Destination I expresses the artists’ wishes for more ways of sharing and exchanging their art works abroad. By friends of friends, the exhibition organizer can have an opportunity to welcome painter Yusof Ghani, the world painter of Malaysia, taking along two new paintings in his visit to Hanoi. It is the first time that one of the most well- known Malaysian painter introduces his new art works in Vietnam. There are two Malaysian painters beside 5 Vietnamese among them is an artist who has been living in France for long time.

    Beside experienced painters, Nguyen Than (from Ho Chi Minh City), Vu Hoa (or Hoa Vu, living and working in France), Ngo Hai Yen (from Hanoi), there are two young and promising ones: Ngo Van Sac (born in 1980) and Luu Tuyen (born in 1982). They both live and work in Hanoi. They themselves concern about many social problems in Vietnam today such as violent games, games addiction of the youth, larger and larger distance of souls and feelings among people… Their art works can be obviously interesting comparisons to paintings on Malaysian fishermen by Zaim bin Durusalam or to others’which focus on various aspects in the human inner life. It is hoped that the exhibition can not only be well received by local art audience but give an interesting suggestion for many other artistic points of arrival in the future.

    Vu Hoa
    Artwork of Vu Hoa
    Yusof Ghani
    Artwork of Yusof Ghani
    Nguyen Than
    Artwork of Nguyen Than

    Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
    66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St.


    1. Notoriously difficult to put together and organize, group shows like “Destination I” are doing a favor to the arts community and the broader Vietnamese and international public by bringing the works of two Malaysian and five Vietnamese contemporary artists in one physical space, letting us to explore their respective artistic concerns, styles, sensibilities. By way of comparison it offers us an opportunity to see this artists’ creative efforts in broader international context.
      The two featured guest artists from Malaysia show dramatically different artistic preoccupations.
      Yousof Ghany’s “The Force #1” and “The Force #2” stylistically relate and are evoking the spirit of abstract expressionism: the grand gesture of using paint freely and spontaneously, simultaneously directing it to obey the artist’s intent… the need to express the origin of the creative drive, an unknown, indeterminable, primordial dimension, which, as it were, is yet to be defined and given form.
      In spite of the implied movement of matter, this work left a feeling of cool detachment and a sense of intellectualized passions… of the immeasurably vast possibilities of the abstract.
      In contrast, the paintings of Zaim bin Durulaman bring the warmth of intimacy in conveying his and his country’s romanticism. The combined collage, stenciled imagery and realistically drawn figuration are used in creating the layers of each work on the theme of fishermen’s life. There is a sweet sentiment of tradition accentuated by the hardness of the main theme coming across as gentle and unassuming sensibility — thus the folkloric impression of this paintings is complete.
      The great strength of tradition is on view in the works of two Vietnamese artists who use lacquer technique as a tool of their expression. In her two imposing “Say I / Passion I” and “Say II / Passion II” paintings, Ngo Hai Yen shows a sense for drama and brilliant color abilities, bit in that she almost succeeds in drowning her subject in the visual satisfaction with the technique, which is a default condition of any technique per se — something to be eventually overcome by the mastery of the artist.
      Vu Hoa also uses lacquer in his series titled “Abstract” (with the exception of one painted in acrylics) for its supreme elegance to refine a sophisticated aesthetic statement of modernity through a connection to traditional art form.
      Also on show are mixed media works by Nguyen Than, titled “The Woman Behind the Window” juxtaposing the female form with a grid cutting across the shape of a torso. This works are somewhat clumsy and stylistically rough but carry some poetic allusions and lyricism.
      Two other Vietnamese artists present their different visual expressions as reflections and comments on contemporary issues of the society they observe. Lu’i Thanh Tuyen Sinh shows two paintings in oil on the subject of alienation and Ngo Van Sac exhibits two large paintings of patterned forms stenciled in a rather decorative way across the entire surface of the canvas. The third work called “Midday Dream” — a combination of woodcut and collage is illustrative and self explanatory in its depiction and treatment of the subject.
      For me the main drawback of the show is the un-evenness in the levels of artistic attainment of the participating artists.
      That said, one is left with the desire to see more of their work and to better understand their respective artistic expressions… and from this perspective the exhibition succeeded in its aim.

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