Exhibition: 24 Aug – 09 Sep 2012
Hongkong Land, The Rotunda, Exchange Square, Hong Kong
From the organizer:
Vietnam Now portrays a country on the move, a country in great transition, paying homage to the past, living in the present and looking forward into the future.
How to modernize without losing one’s tradition and culture is a dilemma that plagues Vietnamese of all ages and all walks of life. In Vietnam Now, this struggle is given visual expression by six of the country’s most outstanding artists in works that include oil on canvas, painting on silk, bronze sculpture, 3D photography, contemporary calligraphy and performance.
Widely exhibited in Vietnam, these six artists are now emerging on the international stage. Never seen before in Hong Kong, their innovative and thought-provoking works honor and preserve the past while adapting and integrating traditional subjects and techniques in ways that resonate with modern-day audiences.
Although deeply familiar with the traditions of their country, the artists represented in Vietnam Now are confronting issues of rapid modernization and globalization. In their varied and provocative works, they reveal dreams both broken and fulfilled and break new artistic ground as they help drive their country into an international future after decades of isolation.
Ha Tri Hieu, a member of the Gang of Five, one of Vietnam’s most widely known and highly respected artists, works in oil on canvas reveal a culture emerging with hopes and dreams of the future. Nguyen Thi Chau Giang’s signature works on silk explore the issues facing the women of Vietnam today, as they progress on the path to becoming modern. Nguyen Thi Chinh Le’s soulful works of bronze sculpture depict daily life, the trials and tribulations of being alive in today’s complicated world.
Nguyen The Son presents his innovative 3D photographs which examine the impact that rapid development has on the physical and moral landscape of the Vietnamese. A scholar and intellect, Son questions at what price comes this highly touted progress? What are the ramifications of increasing materialism and rampant development?
Le Quoc Viet and Nguyen Quang Thang, members of the avant-garde calligraphy group, Zenei, will exhibit their works of contemporary calligraphy. In addition, as artists and scholars, with a passion to keep Nom, the original language of Vietnam alive, the two will engage the audience in an interactive calligraphy performance. By writing characters in Han Chinese, Vietnamese Nom and abstract forms, the audience and artists will create a work of art that emphasizes the interaction of different cultures and how this interaction creates global modernity.
Curated by Suzanne Lecht, of the Art Vietnam Gallery, Hanoi, Vietnam, this is the second exhibition of Vietnamese artists presented by Ms. Lecht and Hongkong Land. In May 1997, the exhibition “The Changing Face of Hanoi” introduced five of the country’s leading artists whose works also reflected the impact of the rapid development as Vietnam was just emerging on the world stage.
The exhibition, Vietnam Now, will be accompanied by a documentary film portraying the lives of the artists – how they live, how they work, and the issues they address, produced by Art Vietnam Gallery in association with documentary filmmaker Bill Perna of Perna Content.