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When you go to a classy furniture and accoutrement outlet like Module 7 it’s hard not to be impressed with the design ideas and the Homes Beautiful layout and presentation. It’s the place I go to salivate over the modules and one day I’ll buy one of their gorgeously modernistic desks.

When the owners invite an artist to exhibit at ‘7’ its difficult not to see the work as decorative frippery – but then a lot of art buyers purchase bits to complement their color schemes and décor, so to see pieces artfully installed amongst beautiful furniture can be a great idea. I guess if we wanted to be cynical we could see it all as a marketing exercise, and in a lesser type establishment I’d wrinkle my nose in amusement; but Module 7 gets away with it with panache… and why shouldn’t good art be taken out of the minimalist white cube and be displayed in a flagrantly commercial manner? It’s a concept utilized by fashionable places all over the world (and, to many good artist’s detriment, by loads of places with questionable fashionable taste).

The sculptures by Nguyen Tuan at Module 7 are almost as classy as the establishment. It’s hard not to use the ‘decorative’ appellation… but is that only because they are in what is after all a furniture shop, albeit a five star place… and if they were in a cube on a white pedestal would I see them differently?

I wouldn’t mind one or two of the rippling ‘Desert’ pieces and at a price of $300 they are very affordable. The tutu-ed dancers or the very sexy legs aren’t my cup of tea but they are wonderfully derivative and I can see the contemplative figures and semi-Buddhist abstracts filling some very peaceful niches in reception rooms and gardens.

It’s a smooth exhibition that complements the swanky To Ngoc Van enclave beautifully.

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.

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