Exhibition “Big Talk Small Talk”

Exhibition “Big Talk Small Talk”

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Opening: Sun 29 Nov 2020, 06 pm
Exhibition: 30 Nov – 04 Dec 2020
Exhibition Center of Fine Arts and Photography
29 Hàng Bài, Hà Nội

From the organizer:

Pedantry hates small talk, yet poets exalt it. For the poet, a simple expression like The weather is nice today… could become as grand as the cosmos in the verse she weaves. Daily life which is almost unnoticed and invisible are obscured by ‘big talks’ from the popular media. The lacquer works of fiver artists are an attempt to clear our eyes from filters to let us listen to the conversations they have in their daily lives. These conversations are as stimulating as the bitterness we taste in our morning tea, as comforting the crisp sound from the leaves blown by the autumn wind, as soothing as the palate of the skyline of Hanoi approaching winter.

Bui Quoc Khanh shows to us the daily lives of salarymen and laborers who are trapped in one side with a wire mesh. The subtle colours he used for his characters are in stark contrast against the fence painted in gold. No TikTok or Instagram filter can ever tear the fence. Khanh is suggesting how disillusioned our community is from the social divide.

Cuong Chu’s central theme are women – their calm, softness, and sensuality. He represented women as a refuge from the strains of daily life. For in women, there is the initial façade of pretty looks, however they also exude warmth that makes us want to succumb in the comfort of their presence.

Hoang Huu Van brings us to an ancient feel with his traditional painting techniques in his choice of stark colours. His images are taunting us, at one point you think you’re the one looking at the painting yet you realize you’re the one being observed. It allows us to examine our judgements and reflect our thoughts of others to our very own existence. If only we can practice this every day…. our community would be more emphatic.

Nguyen Huu Thong’s microscopic view of tree trunks presents us the details we miss when we don’t pay attention to mundane things such as trees. His textures show us how he captured the different moments he spent while closely observing pine trees. His connection with the conifers allows us to meditate on the changes the trees around us go through. For like us, these inanimate beings can also be under the weather and thus could sympathize with the way we feel.

Nguyen Nghia Dau’s minimalistic approach to his works draws us close to his subjects. His flowers gracefully shed petals, they succumb to the force of nature, and they do so with ease as if expecting it to be the best thing to happen. His subtle tones and choice of fine details, such as the petals floating in the air, are both calming and thought-provoking. Who cares about a falling petal? Thanks to Dau, now we do.

In Big Talk, Small Talk we interrogate what matters most, those that are almost invisible to the eye.


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