Exhibition: “When Awake, When Asleep” by Tran Cuong

Exhibition: “When Awake, When Asleep” by Tran Cuong

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Giấc mơ khó nhớ (A Dream that is Hard to Recall), oil on canvas, 120×300 cm, 2019

Exhibition: 23 – 26 May 2019, 8.30 am – 5 pm
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi

From the organizer:

* An introduction by Dr Bui Quang Thang:

It seems that all young artists, upon graduation, are in a similar mental and psychological state: on the one hand, dreams of a triumphant art career, on the other hand, with more cruelty, practical ways to deal with the reality of having to make ends meet. Tran Cuong is no exception, falling in and out of the state of “when awake, when asleep” just like that. When he was “awake”, he painted something easy to sell to survive, and when he was “asleep” he dreamed about artworks he created for his own sake, about painting for a state of euphoria and not for making a living. This exhibition showcasing 16 artworks of the artist is the result of a 7-month long state of being “asleep” he was in.

“Giấc mơ khó nhớ” (A Dream that is Hard to Recall), “Giấc mơ hồng” (Pink Dream), “Cô đơn” (Lonely), “Dục vọng” (Lust) và “Khúc tráng ca” (Anthem) are 5 paintings that he made in his “sleep”. Those are conscious lustful projections of the artist (desire, loneliness, lust) and are also the best works in this exhibition, for its realism, for the inner conflicts it contains or the libido that exists in everyone yet no one dares to admit, or isn’t able to admit through art. The art in this painting are flickered and undefined, which shows how his unfinished, unable-to-recall dreams were leading his way. It could be said that with these paintings, Tran Cuong reached the boundaries of neo-expressionism.

As for the rest, he didn’t portrait dreams but the memories of a childhood, romanticized fairy tales, thoughts / fantasies of surreal scenes… In these works, there are less contemporary quality and more reason comparing to paintings about dreams, yet they were anything but cold, harsh, nor emotionless.

Giấc mơ màu hồng (Pink Dream), oil on canvas, 120×150 cm, 2019
Khu vườn câm (Mute Garden), oil on canvas, 120 x300cm, 2019
Thủa ấu thơ (Childhood), oil on canvas, 150×280 cm, 2019

Translated by Hanoi Grapevine

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday, 8.30 am – 5 pm
Telephone: +84 (0)243 733 2131 – Hotline: 1800 6576


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