KVT’s December Diary …16th… Landscapes ? Faces @ Dong Phong

KVT’s December Diary …16th… Landscapes ? Faces @ Dong Phong

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KVT 2015

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Lacquer magic by Vu Duc Trung

Once again the intimate and super welcoming gallery DONG PHONG @ 3 Ly Dao Thanh has grabbed my total attention with another of the lacquer maestro’s exhibitions of extra special artworks. Click here for an overview of his superb show at the same gallery last year when his round pieces were reminiscent of delicate and mystical waterscapes or reflections in still ponds… as exampled below:

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……and exampled from a work from 2012 which was in the more traditional rectangular shape

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Vu Duc Trung’s lacquers have always invited the viewer, particularly me, to move beneath the surfaces and discover what lies beyond or beneath and in his latest exhibition of parallel works from 2012 to 2015 the artist allows visages to rise like lost memories.

Some are pronounced

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…while others, my favorites, float mysteriously below waiting to be claimed

Portrait#2, 40x50,lacquer,2013




I guess because I come from a western culture, I too often tend to use references from my literary and art history education and an immediate one was Milais’ Death of Ophelia… the body of Shakespeare’s doomed, mad maiden skimmed by clear water

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But then my imagination switches into local focus and pictures faces of Vietnamese wandering souls who drowned or were killed in war and their visages slowly appearing – ghost-like – through ripples or damp, mossy jungle floors… like here

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… Or here…

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It’s a very engaging small group of lacquer pieces at prices cheap enough to make you gasp


The piece below, from 1912, was the first to be snapped up by a canny buyer


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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