Ilza Burchett – Nguyen Duy Manh: “Inner Space”

Ilza Burchett – Nguyen Duy Manh: “Inner Space”

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Ilza

“Inner Space” is the first solo exhibition by the artist Nguyen Duy Manh.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”[1]

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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.

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Perhaps “art is like tears”[2] … 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…

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Notes:[1] and [2] 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.

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