“Inner Space” is the first solo exhibition by the artist Nguyen Duy Manh.
Conceived in the form of an installation — with its painstakingly sought after totality of a captivating environment — where even ‘installing the installation’ is in itself a demonstrable feat of a detail in its relation to the whole, “Inner Space” is a confident artistic representation of Nguyen Duy Manh’s vision of his inner world completely taking over the exhibition space at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.
Made entirely of plain black cord, brightly colored strings and strips of cloth, the installation’s complex weave of space is delineated by a ceiling-strapped, interconnected black cord network spinning a web of geometry as supporting structure, then morphing into a massive self-containing harness of its own presence and expressed physicality.
Its stark three-dimensional graphics — a visual severity, brought to a point of theatricality of a staged effect of play with shadows — produce hard visual contrast in opposition to the inherently soft, humble nature of the used materials, forcing the pull of the tautness of the structural suspense into the pseudo-gravitational drop of some tightly coiled, brightly colored, organic-looking convoluted forms, caught up and enmeshed in black nets.
The work is connotative of an imaginary organism with its elastic inner workings and maintained inner tensions — be that taken as an allusion or / and as a metaphor — it is matching the artist’s exhibition statement line: “My artwork is a part of me. For me, it is not a means of expressing ideas, but a living creature having its own spiritual life.”
Nguyen Duy Manh’s exhibition and statement allude to his innermost need for artistic creation: the artist’s desire for his “Inner Space” to have taken an actual physical form through his art, to have made the invisible visually manifest, and the unrepresentable be represented.
Perhaps “art is like tears” … made of things intimate, things hard to say — things with no names or words to match — things of mystery to some and an illusion to others…
Notes: and  from artist’s statement, Nguyen Duy Manh, Exhibition “Inner Space”, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, 2016
| Ilza holds the deep conviction that there is nothing more damaging than indifference and that only a critique, based on peer to peer assessment of contemporary art practices, is the way to broaden and encourage the creative thought and new original artistic ideas — fostering a better understanding of contemporary visual art and the role of the artist as a creator of cultural values.|
Ilza Burchett is an internationally exhibiting artist, now based in Hanoi, Vietnam.