KVT – When 13 is not Unlucky

KVT – When 13 is not Unlucky

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KVT 2013Made in Hanoi 5550

KVT enjoys another foray through the levels at Art Talk Café

Just back in Hanoi after a couple of weeks down south in warmer parts and getting back into the local art groove after missing out on a couple of good shows that closed on the weekend…but I managed to get to the opening of this one on my way to an excellent and stimulating art talk at Tadioto on Sunday evening, not long after I stepped back onto the  soil of our chilly capital . So here goes:

I always enjoy walking into the Art Talk Café at 12 Quan Su, mainly because when you walk in the door you are met by lots of fresh and vital art by young and youngish artists.

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I went there on Sunday for the opening of the Made in Hanoi exhibition by 13 artists who contributed two works each. It was on the third floor but I got  waylaid in the comfortable lounge on the second level by the arresting, small faces on canvas by Doan Hoang Lam

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Doan Hoang Lam 5554

Doan Hoang Lam 5555

Doan Hoang Lam 5557

But I finally tore myself away from the soft sofas and ascended to the spacious gallery where I was confronted by an enormous crowd of local artists, their friends and supporters and a nice smattering of foreign art viewers.

Most art works were on the large size but the space is large enough to accommodate the 26 wall pieces. They ranged from the very good to OK and I’ll do a run through of the ones that sort of appealed to me as I peered through arms and legs and around gossiping bodies.

It was hard to walk past the hyper real, black cars of Trinh Minh Tien. When you looked into their highly polished surfaces you almost expected to see your own reflection peeking back at you.

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The hazy, vapory, unpedestrianed city scapes by Nguyen Hoang Tung were almost walkable into.

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The lush lacquers by Chu Viet Cuong, that looked for all the world like oil paintings until you stuck your nose up to them, were certainly very more-ish and drew me back a couple of times

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Pham Tuan Tu had his usual elaborate transvestite peering shyly in the ‘stop and look at me way’ that Tu’s creations usually and delightfully do. It was a real surprise to see this piece next to work of an entirely different style but no less captivating

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After all this loud and vivacious stuff it was almost a relief to come upon two pastel toned woodcut prints by Nguyen Thanh Son. Gave me time to catch my breath.

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Two little pieces by Le Chi Hieu had me smiling as his impish creations usually make me do

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And I almost wanted to circle dance along with the happy mob depicted by Trieu Long as they cavorted in the shadows of Long Bien Bridge. In fact, in retrospect it’s this canvas that has become my favorite of the whole lot!

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Perhaps my imperfect images will persuade you to get along to this delectably stylish gallery and see the other works that I don’t have room to include in this post. It’s a nice little antidote to the frigid winter weather that is slowly grappling its way towards spring…or at least it was for me. Not challenging but nice to slip into.. like a cosy, warm and recognized sweater.

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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