KVT and a sojourn with the people he just about likes the most
Occasionally you go to an exhibition that’s just too easy to write about! Rolls from your fingertips and you just can’t stop it.
As soon as I walked into the Art Museum and was confronted by Pham Thai Binh’s sculptures, a big smile spread across my face and I felt really happy…joyful.
It took me a few minutes to digest why and it hit me like a shower of meteorite particles. Mountain Ethnic!
Pham Thai Binh (doesn’t it roll off your tongue in honeyed syllables?) seems to delight in the mountain people of northern Vietnam as much as I do, and I dote on them. Perhaps my immediate happy reaction is because for the past two weeks I’ve been itching to get away for a few days onto rough mountain trails amongst the folk who occupy hard places but cold weather and mua phun rain has dampened my efforts and resolve.
The people in Binh’s work are not specific to any particular group of ethnic people. Like me, he revels being amidst them no matter what persuasion, overawed by their resilience in the face of often extreme hardship.
The 30 plus sculptures, some in bronze and some in composite, range in size and are beautifully mounted on lacquered wood. There are none I dislike but lots I love and just about everyones’ favorite would be the road full of bicyclists heading home on a rough road.
All the works are all pretty whimsical and the groups of musicians are a good place to start to echo the sound of the mountains
The group on motor bikes going off at noon to steal a bride is wonderful and doing the same by tractor a hoot
And the take on the highland VIP’s in their 4 wheel drives are irreveent and suitably disrespectful
And contasts with the vehicles of the less well off
The women selling piglets are just too nice!
The rest are visual poetry and I’m sorry I cant show them all but here’s a few beauties
Unless I get towards the rarified air Xin Man or Tram Tau this week I’ll be back at the Museum for some more pure delight. In his simply simple and well laid out catelogue the artist says that he wants his viewers to feel joyful and he certainly succeeded with me…..as he will with you if you get to before it closes next Sunday. Its kid worthy viewing too.
Thanhs a heap Pham Thai Binh
|Kiem Van Tim is a keen observer of life in general and the Hanoi cultural scene in particular and offers some of these observations to the Grapevine. KVT insists that these observations and opinion pieces are not critical reviews. Please see our Comment Guidelines / Moderation Policy and add your thoughts in the comment field below.|