Opening: Wed 03 Oct, 6 pm
Art Conversation: Fri 05 Oct, 6.30 pm
Exhibition: 04 – 14 Oct 2012, 9 am – 7 pm
From Goethe Institut:
Installation and sculptural work by Vu Dan Tan and recent pieces by Nguyen Nghia Cuong focus on female iconography and sexuality. The exhibition compares and contrasts the works of two Hanoi artists a generation apart.
This year marks the third anniversary of Vu Dan Tan’s death. In honor of this extraordinary artist, who is considered one of the leading artists of Vietnam’s post-Doi Moi scene, the Goethe-Institut presents the exhibition Venus in Vietnam, curated by Iola Lenzi in collaboration with Natasha Kraevskaja. The exhibition Venus in Vietnam features works by Vu Dan Tan (1946 -2009), that have never been shown in Vietnam: Delicate cardboard suits and miniature installations of female figures in glass-lidded cigarette boxes. They are representing two important series of Vu Dan Tan’s works, the Venus and Fashion series, the artist worked on over several years until shortly before his death. Some of these sculptures were exhibited in Germany (8th Sculpture Triennial -Triennale Kleinplastik, Fellbach, 2001), and later included in major exhibitions in Japan, Holland and Singapore, but in Vietnam, they were known only to friends and other artists who dropped into “Salon Natasha” while Tan was working on them.
Vu Dan Tan whose multi-media cross-disciplinary practice broke new ground in the 1980s with its conceptual and playful use of found materials, is now recognized as a pioneer of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian contemporary avant-garde. This exhibition offers access to a facet of his work yet widely unknown in Vietnam.
Nguyen Nghia Cuong (b. 1973), a graduate of Vietnam Fine Arts University, now mid-career, is known for his ironic approach to contemporary reality, dominated by consumerism and brand-culture. In his recent series Beauty High Quality, he continues his investigation of the intersection of popular culture, advertising and consumerism, with life and society.
The present exhibition showcases works focusing on female iconography and sexuality, and these two themes’ expanded meaning in the social and cultural context of late twentieth century-early 21st century Vietnam. Vu Dan Tan’s key works of the last decade, juxtaposed with new works by Nguyen Nghia Cuong, together offer a so far little-explored but art historically relevant perspective on the role played by gender, sexuality and woman in Vietnamese visual art of the turn of the century.
Venus in Vietnam: Vu Dan Tan and Nguyen Nghia Cuong is documented by a comprehensively illustrated catalogue including an essay by Southeast Asian contemporary art specialist Iola Lenzi. Lenzi is also a frequent curator of Vu Dan Tan.
Link to photos of the artists and their artworks.
Art Conversation: Nguyen Nghia Cuong, Natalia Kraevskaia, and Iola Lenzi on sexuality and woman in Vietnamese and Southeast Asian contemporary art.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Goethe Institut – Hanoi is organising an art talk formatted as a lively conversation between Nguyen Nghia Cuong, Hanoi-based curator, writer, lecturer, and Salon Natasha Director Natalia Kraevskaia, and curator, critic and lecturer Iola Lenzi. The artist and two curators will have an art conversation about the current exhibition and more broadly the theme of gender and sexuality in Vietnamese and Southeast Asian contemporary art. The panel will open the discussion to the attending public at the end of the art conversation.
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