Exhibition: 03 Oct – 17 Nov 2012
From the organizer:
‘Tales of Chewing Gum, Noodle Soup, and Other Stories’, an exhibition that brings together for the first time new and rarely seen works by acclaimed HCMC-based artists Nguyen Trung and Hoang Duong Cam.
Vietnam’s most accomplished and respected abstract painter, Nguyen Trung (born 1940) unveils rarely exhibited paintings that collectively span a decade of the artist’s creative output. Drawing upon personal memory conflated with broader cultural sources, Trung’s works are exquisite formal investigations into remembrance and Buddhist thought. In the ‘Moonlight’ paintings, Trung reflects on his wartime recollections of the Vietnamese countryside. The works conjure scorched and ashen landscapes under silvery moonlight. White, a color commonly associated with mourning in Vietnam, features prominently in these ethereal works that are grounded by stains of earthen pigment – a reminder that destruction brings forth renewal.
A decade later Trung’s paintings display the artist’s continued interest in textured surfaces. In the ‘Urban’ works, old walls and temple ruins surface from within the compositions and draw the viewer into the mysterious and opulent worlds of past civilizations. With ‘Crying River’, meditative and enigmatic, the artist creates intimate yet powerful works that allow viewers to pause and contemplate the vagaries of daily life.
In his newest body of work, Hoang Duong Cam (born 1974) displays his strength as a multi-faceted artist. Drawing upon the historical accounts of Hanoi by former East German journalist Thomas Billhardt in his 1972 photo essay “Hanoi Am Tage vor dem Friede,” the artist combines photographic technique with painterly skill to produce works that are evocative and enigmatic in both appearance and subject matter. The artist began this series of paintings by reshooting particular pictures in Billhardt’s book using a pinhole lens, intentionally creating gaps and distortions of the original images. The paintings themselves are simultaneously figurative and abstract with elusive forms and suspended, colorful fragments. Cam reveals a complex set of narratives through deceptively ordinary images. Personal memory and stories of childhood fantasies also play an integral role in the new works, as the artist celebrates with characteristic irony a dramatic period of Vietnam’s recent history.
65 Đề Thám, District 1, HCMC
+84 (8) 3836 8019
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM; closed Sundays and Mondays