KVT sees an exhibition he really likes
Here’s an opinion piece…only slightly biased….about one of the best local exhibitions that may come your way this year.
If your taste in art extends to work on paper then you’ll probably be delighted with the first exhibition at the sparkling new Nguyen Art Gallery at 31 Van Mieu (for you old timers, it used to be Maison Des Arts but it’s been given a modern updating facelift and looks really…sparkling)
Back to the work on Paper! The artists, Nguyen Tran Cuong and Le Xuan Hung Ling have called their more than delightful exhibition – that extends delightfully over two floors and three gallery spaces – Paper No 2….mainly because it is their second one. The first was the threesome at the Bookworm Art Space about 3 years ago and it proved very successful, especially the small drawings by Cuong which were lapped up by appreciative (and discerning) buyers.
Paper No 2 sees the two artists move into a mature stage of their development and what grabbed me when I walked through the galleries was just how delightfully the two styles bounce off each other and complement each other.
It’s no secret that Cuong is one of those artists that I’d walk 100km to see any new show (and that I have quite a few of his small and peaceful, often sexy, delightfully cheeky works in my private collection). In this exhibition Cuong’s delightful (there’s the D word again but it is so very apt!) works on paper have become a little larger and the palette, though still invitingly pastelly, has changed its hue and will win him many more fans. The drawings are still peaceful, still cheeky, still delightfully old worldly Vietnamese, still lots of fun, almost all appealing, and eminently collectable. I almost dare anyone to not fall head over heels for them. Here are a few images courtesy of the artist.
Linh has been an artist I’ve followed closely ever since he was a finalist in the Phillip Morris ASEAN art award in the very early part of this century. Since then he’s been a bit of a loose cannon, experimenting with photography, print making, painting and drawing…sometimes excellent and sometimes wanting – but always leaving you with a feeling that his time would come. With his work in this exhibition you realize that he could really be on the way.
Linh’s works on paper behind glass are bright and delightfully cheerful. Usually the finished pieces have been adhered to canvas and this gives them a crinkly look that is really effective. Some may call his work fussy but I say sucks to them because the pieces are full of marks and dribbles and enough color to make you fall in love with the Hanoi urban landscape all over again. Linh’s takes on inner city Hanoi are so full of life and vitality that one gallery owner was standing amazed in their midst. Good quality images are courtesy of the artist and the very fuzzy ones by me.
Hoan Kiem Lake viewed through a riot of color is much more gorgeous than my image indicates
Most viewers will like the quirky interior, the garden, and the lanterns.
For me, the four small yet mysterious windows are too deliciously delightful for words!
At times Linh hones in on smaller sections of a landscape and his crickets on grass blades, paddy crabs on the loose, and a flock of doves near a dovecote are also really fluid and full of joie de vivre.
This delightful exhibition closes on the 30th and is definitely worth a visit and perhaps a purchase.
You can’t help but be delighted.
|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.|