Opening: Sat 17 Nov 2018, 5.30 pm
Exhibition: 17 Nov – 09 Dec 2018, 9 am – 12 pm and 1.30 – 5 pm
VICAS Art Studio
From the organizer:
Two artists, two different genders, two ages, two different artistic styles, two different journeys of creating artwork… but their paintings share a common: “Yin” matter (from Yin-Yang concepts) – it might be the afterlife world, also could be the inner spiritual/emotional realm character/the spirit locating inside bodies. Accordingly, two artists were invited to present a duet exhibition at Vicas Art Studio entitled “Parallel Worlds of ‘Yin’”.
1. Artist Le Thi Minh Tam (born 1976):
There are some senseless stories seem not related to fine-art, but they are reasons that turn on the ‘radar’ in me which is always looking for interesting paintings:
1) In the past, when I went to do fieldwork, I had met “x-men” who were capable of receiving the training from their ancestors. A Muong man, who is often drunk, is not well educated but was able to learn fortune telling (by tying an egg into a rope, then vows to find out which ones have made people sick). He gets that ability by talking with his grandfather in dreams. Thus, the interaction between people and the spirits is real; it’s not the result of the imagination;
2) One of my neighbors, on a drunken night, took charcoals to draw a picture of spirits who once visited his house on the living room wall and I got goosebumps when I saw those pictures. That means: The spirits or the devils are neither invisible nor formless.
3) Some medium masters (in the belief of worshipping God Father/Mother in Vietnam) have special powers: When they enter the enchance (when their souls are separated from the bodies), the souls can communicate with the saints and see thoroughly their forms. Thus, those who have special abilities, have some specific mental structures, would be able to see the forms of the souls, of the spirits or of the devils.
It is also my predicament when two months ago, I met Tam to talk about art and invited her to participate in the exhibition “Parallel Worlds of Yin”, she enthusiastically accepted and rushed to draw 18 paintings which are dedicated to the exhibition. It is unusual for her, because she used to paint very slowly, only about 10 paintings a year. With such extraordinary speed and intensity, she must have had the excitement and high feeling. She said: “I dreamed about it and saw a lot of things and plunge into those like delirium, draw those paintings in serial, do not want to stop, tired but happy, sometimes I feel like someone told me”.
For people who know Tam in the real life, they all know how much spiritual medium-rooted capability (“căn”) she owns, sometimes she is quiet, even slightly depressed, at the time of sublimation, she becomes impulsive as a medium. I believed what Tam said, because paintings are the artist themselves, I saw her personality in the paintings, or in other words, the paintings represented her characteristics, it was difficult to fabricate, hard to lie. I saw in this series of paintings two seemingly – opposing worlds: Spirituality and Sexuality.
Most of Tam’s works are the representation of the appearance of spirits. The order of the spirits is expressed differently by the difference of sharpness or blur, brightness or darkness, in gloomy colors or radiant, whether having a halo or not. The way she spots the color is also very special, there are always a few pieces of yellow or red much enough to create glare, and whether the overall nuance of the paintings is cool and cold. Those things go with the unknown (hidden) brushstrokes of the figures made her paintings also have the “flickering”; “it does not come out who are ghosts or are not ghost”. Tam’s paintings of spirits are very spiritual but do not make the audience scared or got goosebumps, perhaps because they have radiated a positive energy of the high-class souls or at least good spirits.
In some works of this series, I see a different world, derived from the inner memory of the artist that is the unconscious outburst of the libido repressed inside the artist. The emblems of male / female temperaments appear and collide at tremendous speed! Perhaps, the author herself is not sure what her drawings figured and therefore, what the hidden memories are shown in the paintings cannot be lying.
L.T.M.T is a talented artist and this series is especially excellent, it was painted when the artist was immersed in the “drowsiness”, which makes me wonder: What will happen when she painted without such moments of sublimation?
2. Nguyen Manh Hung/Hung Ro (born 1984)
After graduated from Painting Faculty of National University of Art Education, Nguyen Manh Hung continued studying at Faculty of Art Pedagogy at Vietnam University of Fine Art, due to it, he has actually involved in Art Creative’s field for about 3 years only (since 2016). Quietly understanding the situation, he has really tried hard to catch the others or seniors in the fine art scene in Vietnam.
Hung has been trying many kinds of art movements and he can practice in various styles: from realism to abstract, to semi-abstract, romantic abstraction and abstract expression. Involving in the creative field, he seems to lost in a new huge world; he challenges himself in researching, exploring and adventuring. He gained some achievements in each style of painting. But he also got many shocks and fails on the rough road. Seemingly, nothing can stop him from keeping his faith but to push him stronger.
This time, he releases a series “Self-portrait”, his unique painting style and thinking. His “self-portrait” work is likely a diary of the different emotions and feelings that he already had experienced on the tough journey: over joyfulness, proud, high, and even arrogant when he had succeeded. From the opposite side, there was a time of failure, sadness, loneliness, and negativity; full of mediation when he got lost.
The language in “Self-portrait” series was unified and got a sense of “Yin”. Mostly did with 2D expression technique and a skill of matter-making and raking on the canvas; he not only draws a portrait, but he also paints its shadow. Then, he did not only draw the figures but also their shapes, unifying them in ones. Although the audience might only physically ‘see’ the “shape”, they either can realize the “figure” of each portrait. The most important thing, the audience can feel the spiritual status that the painter wants to present.
To me, they are not only the portraits of the artist but also the honest biography or self-description of him. Thus, though they are all in one artistic style, yet they are not boring. Rather, they will make you stay longer in front of each painting, try to understand and compare them to your own experience.
Personally, when seeing this series, I did wonder: Have I ever experienced these feelings before? If yes, how much empathy I would have with the artist?
Dr Bui Quang Thang, Art Director
VICAS ART STUDIO
| VICAS Art Studio|
32 Hao Nam Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi
Opening hours: 9 am – 12 pm and 1.30 – 5 pm, Monday – Sunday