Pham Huy Thong was born in 1981 in Hanoi, Vietnam and graduated from Hanoi Industrial Fine Art University in 2004.
Thong works with Vietnamese lacquer, acrylic and mixed media. His work has been described as political and social commentary on current issues. “Thong’s paintings are rife with symbolism and his multi-layered messages are not immediately discernible. Much is left to the engaged viewer to analyze and understand for himself. Thong is commenting on events and informing while also challenging the viewer to question the status quo.“, said Craig Thomas Gallery. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Craig Thomas Gallery (HCM City), Ernst & Young Office, One Raffle Quay (Singapore) and Bui Gallery (Hanoi). He has exhibited internationally including South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, China, Japan and Norway. In 2012 he was nominated for the Signature Art Prize in Singapore.
His works are included in the Witness Collection of Modern and Contemporary Vietnamese Art and the Rimbun Dahan Collection in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
At the upcoming Grapevine Selection exhibition, taking a break from the political subject, Thong will choose to display 5 portrait paintings. He said:
I started to draw portraits in 2000 when I was a freshman at university. I like portraits because I prefer looking at others than being looked at. Later on, even when focusing on social commentary paintings I kept drawing portraits.
In 2012, after 6 years devoting as a full-time artist, I fell ill. My back hurt due to working too much and I had to take medical treatment for quite a long time. Since late 2012 I’ve been concentrating most of my time on portraits while my back is recovering. This is also good for me to renew my ideas on social issues.
Each portrait painting in the exhibition has a different technique. I think if the audience can notify these differences it would be something interesting for them.
KVT’s review on Pham Huy Thong’s exhibition “Dong Bao” in Nov 2010: All Together in The Pink Womb
KVT’s review on Pham Huy Thong’s exhibition at L’Espace in Jun 2009: Pham Huy Thong’s exhibition at L’Espace is a real jewel
Words by Friederike Krentz and Brian Ring.