KVT – Lamentation for Caged Birds

Posted on Thursday 25 Apr - 2013

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KVT away with the birds at the Art Museum

This week, until the 27th, there’s a really nice and engaging installation of abstract birds  and their fly lines at the Art Museum.

29 year old Thai Nhat Minh has used wood and cast aluminium to sculpt lots of rather beautifully curvaceous small birds….more than 150. These avians vary in size, species and colour and are all perched in a variety of winsome ways

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The three bamboo ‘trees ‘ in which the birds perch are 3 meters high and, to me, indicate that the birds are being held captive in a giant aviary.

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Subtle lighting ensures that the trees and their captives…you can almost hear them cheeping, squawking and trilling…are cast as shadows on the walls of the gallery giving the gallery an ominous, prison like feel

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The elegantly birds are delightful to look at and you want to reach out and run your hands over their smooth and sinuous forms. A lot of  viewers, like me, who are appalled at the caging of wild birds, will feel like purchasing one or a few to metaphorically release them from bird purgatory.

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In the adjoining gallery there is an installation of strands of split bamboo that arc and loop and and swirl throughout the gallery confines suspended away from the room’s solid surfaces.

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It’s an intriguing and graceful though ultimately sad piece of work and it represents the fly lines made by the birds when they leave their perches and pretend for a while that they in their natural habitat. You can sense the frantic flutterings of some and the resigned circling of others in this 80 meter square exercise yard.

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The artist states that the connection between the two gallery spaces is where the viewer can contemplate on the installation and their attitude towards it and its where I came upon my reading of the work

The perched birds would stand alone as a pleasant installation of well made sculptures but it’s those symbolic fly lines that add meaning and extend the artist’s concept.

Definitely worth a look.

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.

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One comment

  1. This exhibition was a beautiful but sad commentary on the plight of caged birds everywhere. Well worth viewing.