The latest exhibition that artist Luu Tuyen put together, taking during 5-11 June 2018 in Hanoi, is considered “haunting” by two successful Vietnamese artists. One of them is Le Huy Tiep, a prominent artist in graphic art and realism. The other is Vu Dinh Tuan, whose impressive modern silk paintings found success. Check out their opinions on Luu Tuyen’s solo exhibition “Perfect Reality” below.
Photos of artworks:
LE HUY TIEP: Luu Tuyen’s paintings and sculptures haunt viewers
In his “Art as Image and Idea”, one of the best art education texts published over 50 years ago, Edmund Burke Feldman wrote that Love and Death in their broadest sense are the ideas most interesting to artists. Feldman’s observation is clearly apt in Luu Tuyen’s artworks in his latest exhibition, “Perfect Realities.”
Luu Tuyen’s art goes far beyond entertainment or decoration. His paintings and sculptures haunt viewers, forcing them to study slowly and carefully in order to absorb and reflect. With his unique ways of thinking, techniques and media, Luu Tuyen skillfully conveys his love for the people, objects and scenes that are drawn from his daily life.
Luu Tuyen’s emotions are not loud or brash, but gentle. He caresses the doll-like maidens on his canvas. Luu Tuyen’s women are also unmistakably and affectionately clothed in old-fashioned costumes, painted with kind round faces and innocent eyes. It is as if, in his art, he wants to preserve the classical beauty of the past. Luu Tuyen’s characters live in nostalgic surroundings or frozen under nylon wraps. They come to life with luminous gazes, startled by the hustle and corruption of the 21th century.
His appreciation for age-old virtues also shines through in the series of still-life works titled “Treasures,” and the landscape works titled “Heritage”. The background in his paintings has been darkened and the air stilled, forming the perfect backdrop for the artist to celebrate the imperfections, brokenness and decay caused by the passage of time. Luu Tuyen’s anxiety for the endurance of antique objects, historical architecture, and human values weighs on the minds of his audience. However, the heavy sentiment is often quickly replaced by a renewed love and appreciation for the cultural artifacts and heritage passed on to us from our forefathers, which would otherwise be forgotten.
Art resonates when the artist’s expression, story and emotion are so masterfully blended. Luu Tuyen has purposefully used his images and techniques to express his point of view. In this exhibition, his art combines classic oil painting techniques with contemporary media to work at many visual and psychological levels in perfect harmony. The shiny but uneven and cracked surfaces help to convey the reverence for aesthetic beauty in Luu Tuyen’s paintings.
15 years and earned a living as an artist, Tuyen had two solo exhibitions, participated in many domestic and international exhibitions and art fairs. The world’s oldest and most established art publisher Skira (founded by AlbertSkira in 1928 in Switzerland) last year named Luu Tuyen as one of the most prominent painters in contemporary Vietnamese art. I sincerely hope his Intellect and Drive will continue to serve him well in the pursuit of Art.
Hanoi, 29 May 2018. Le Huy Tiep
PAINTER VU DINH TUAN:
An insecure reality
I spent an afternoon with Tuyen to understand his story and his art, whose imagery is both Asian and Vietnamese.
Luu Tuyen’s latest series of paintings and sculptures, titled “Perfect Realities,” is a mirror that has many marks and flaws but is not broken. Through his artistry, we get a glimpse of East and West, of Modernity and Antiquity, and our humanity and vulnerability.
By breaking up his art and putting the pieces back together, Luu Tuyen’s reality encompasses his isolation, insecurity, and self-doubt. Luu Tuyen’s objects are lovingly portrayed and vibrantly decorated, buried under layers of mystery. These objects lie frozen and lifeless, and their existence seems more like memory than reality. Has Tuyen suffered setbacks or heartbreaks? Has he fearlessly picked up the pieces, and resolutely embraced his experience and destiny? The brokenness in Luu Tuyen’s art is humble, yet uniquely beautiful and hauntingly alluring. Even if artists have the opportunity to travel to the East and the West, or to study Modernity and Antiquity, few would be able to find themselves, or to celebrate their reality as Tuyen has in his latest works.
Hanoi 28 May 2018. Artist Vu Dinh Tuan