And do you know what? I was completely and immediately won over as soon as I made my way around the cunning rope curtain that hides the gallery space from the front door.
As a young Vietnamese artist I knew said – when I collided with him as I walked, wide eyed, towards a captivating work in azures and aqua’s and subtle greys and reds- ‘They’re good!’ And, 99.9%, they are…really good! I took away a little for the triptych in the café area that didn’t quite work for me.
Lolo has managed to get the kh cat be tong and the patinas on the walls they inhabit down beautifully in his large photographic prints mounted on wood blocks…the paint strokes used by local authorities to erase the illegal graffiti; mould and moss that invades one; aged and weathered cracked and layered paint and concrete; swathes of colors that are relative newcomers to the creams and greens of old Hanoi……I’ve used ‘patina’ to mean ‘a surface of something grown beautiful especially with age or use’ and in Lolo’s prints he has created beautiful images of parts of surfaces that certain types of people – including me – often find incredibly beautiful as wholes or as isolated portions.
The stenciled numbers on one over-swum by a stenciled school of fish is especially lovely, and evocative.