A Gentle Disagreement

A Gentle Disagreement

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KVT catches ‘Fantasy World’ at the Bui Gallery.

Bill, I have to disagree with you. I walked into the Bui gallery today and was blown away with the Fabien Verschaere exhibition… but at times that’s what opinion is all about, friendly disagreement. Now I didn’t approach Verschaere’s work in the same intellectual way that Bill did, I sort of just walked into the gallery and breathed ‘more! Show me more! I really liked the way the curator has made the pieces breathe throughout the various spaces and although I was sometimes forced backwards by the crowded black and white canvases I had to linger awhile and let my eyes wander through their deliberately awkward storylines.
The whole lot, I felt, was a paean to naivety. The colored works were almost excruciatingly simple, yet effective. A viewer with a bit of recent art history knowledge could draw out a lot of influences but for me it’s the fusion of the childish naïve with the urban hit and run graffiti with a huge amount of Dubuffet and other French pop artists thrown into the melting pot. A heady mix that will probably win through. The hit and run references to Hanoi were effective red rags to annoyed local bulls or childish, colonial Gallic sillinesses and unnecessary… though the helmets were almost as lovely as the tables and plates (see further down).

It’s not often that a large commercial gallery in Hanoi throws itself at the mercy of one artist… The last time I was thus impressed was when Marita Nurmi blew us away with her exhibition that closed Art Vietnam’s old home in 2007… and the magical eye of Bui succeeded with Verschaere where so many other curators would have presented the viewer with a dog’s breakfast as it could have easily been.

I like the found ceramic tables and stools that were painted then glazed and the plates were also pretty good. I wouldn’t mind a table for my balcony.

So Bill, though really enjoyed your crit and went along to Bui with a slightly jaundiced eye I was quickly won over.

The exhibition closes soon so see it while you can… I was excited.[/lang_e]

Not a reviewer, not a critic, “Kiếm Văn Tìm” is an interested, impartial and informed observer and connoisseur of the Hanoi art scene who offers highly opinionated remarks and is part of the long and venerable tradition of anonymous correspondents. Please add your thoughts in the comment field below.


  1. Tôi cũng đã đến triển lãm của Fabien Verschaere,và tôi cũng đã bị thổi bay sau 10 phút xem tất cả các tác phẩm của anh. Nhưng đó là sự thổi bay ra quán nước chè bên góc phố, vì thực sự khung cảnh đường phố và khung cảnh xung quanh gây ấn tượng với tôi thực sự hơn là những hoạ tiết chen chúc và những câu chuyện trong tác phẩm.
    Tôi thực sự bị dị ứng với cách kể chuyện lẩn mẩn và những chi tiết mà tôi cho là cái nhìn của người đi du lịch trong tác phẩm của nghệ sỹ Fabien Verschaere. Nó không làm tôi cảm giác tác phẩm có cái nhìn đặc biệt và chọn lọc. Nó giống như một món lẩu thập cẩm dễ dãi. Nếu bạn có một chút hoa tay, bạn sẽ nhào nặn một loạt hình ảnh kế tiếp nhau cho đầy kín mặt tranh.
    Xét cho cùng, nếu chỉ để trang trí, thì có lẽ tôi cũng không chọn các chi tiết của tác phẩm ấy. Tôi thích hoạ tiết của Keith Haring hơn. Màu sắc và cũng thanh bình hơn.

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