Opening: Wed 25 Nov 2020, 05 pm
Exhibition: 25 Nov – 03 Dec 2020
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
66 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Hanoi
From the organizer:
*Curator: artist Vũ Hồng Nguyên
Tran Thuoc’s collection seeks to capture the notion of the circle of time through the constant and non-stop movements and transformations of visual and material forms and shapes in a time-bound reality. There is, however, also the sense of the movements and transformations of forms giving rise to their own time, that the concentric annual rings in the cross section of a tree tell much more than how the trunk has grown outward; they create their own ecological chronology, which is the key theme pursued by the artist through this body of works. Perhaps getting a bit too carried away in my musings on his surreal and enchanting bionic artworks, I suddenly wonder if Tran Thuoc is a believer in animism. A sculptural language that combines minimalist and symbolic shapes with minute craftsmanship echoing art deco; a skilled treatment of a variety of media such as wood, stone, and aluminum; the seasoned manipulation of space, be it hollow or solid, large or small, long or short, swirling or fixed, bulky or slender, to create rhythmic and seamless transitions; the play of light and the illusion of airiness that infuse each surface; they all seem to come together to breathe life into the artworks, giving them a spirit or an energy that transcends mere shapes or forms, alien or familiar. The pieces seem to move and breathe by themselves, growing, climbing, interweaving, flowering, flourishing, at times standing imposingly, at others hanging precariously or hovering in the air…
Released from the mindful arrogance of minimalism and moving beyond the charming minuteness of art deco, Tran Thuoc has found his voice and his language as a sculptor. Even more than that, he has found his very own aesthetic space characterized by bionic realism which is really one of a kind. While the sculptural art scene is caught up in its obsession with either over-simplicity or over-inventiveness of form, the young artist’s choice of bionic sculpture has struck a new path which is both refreshingly unassuming and philosophically deep. And here is the philosophy behind it: when the ecosystem, both social and natural, is in crisis, it is the empathetic belief that all beings are imbued with life and spirit and an artist’s quiet confidence that does not feel the need to resort to tricks and gimmicks that will help us feel a bit more at peace and in love with life.
And that is the unexpected precious gift that luck has bestowed upon us all through Tran Thuoc.
Art Critic Nguyễn Quân
Excerpt from the article in The Circle of Time exhibition