Exhibition: Memories of Tô river

Exhibition: Memories of Tô river

Posted on

Opening: Fri 29 Apr 2022, 04 pm
Exhibition: 30 Apr – 30 May 2022
Centre for Art & Culture at 22 Hang Buom
22 Hàng Buồm, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội

From the organizer:

Nhi Ha around North to East
Kim Nguu To Lich is the river on this side

Traditional folk song has created a painting of Hanoi of the past, a Hanoi city in a river, a city of water and lakes. There used to be many ponds, lakes and rivers in Hanoi before the French came and planned it into a modern city following French design. The fate of lakes and rivers was gradually leveled and replaced by straight line streets. Sharing the same fate, To Lich River was once a smooth flowing river that extended throughout the history of Thang Long Ke Cho, also gradually disappearing from the memories of thousands of townspeople who entered this city through historical periods.

Going back to the stream of those memories of rivers that are gradually being destroyed and lost, there is an artist – Vu Xuan Dong who has always struggled with the image of the To River in his works for the past 20 years. Perhaps during a long time as an art student and later in his artistic career, when renting a studio located right next to a section of the To River that is gradually dying before turning into a road like many streets in the city, artist Vu Xuan Dong’s has gradually “dwell” into the story of the river’s fate reflecting in his art as a “hidden memory” without even knowing it.

From graduation project with lacquer 20 years ago, he also used the theme of To River itself, through the years till today, he continues to experiment with variety of materials from oil paint, acrylic, gouache, lacquer to bronze relief, installation… even though struggling with life in an urban city, whenever there is opportunity and time, the story of To River’s fate has “come to life” again and flowed abundantly in his creative works. The image of the river in Vu Xuan Dong’s works is probably also a mirror that reflects the image of the relentless influx of immigrants into this city, always working hard with effort, like small cool water always yearn to pour into big rivers.

The exhibition “Memories of To River” this time was help at a space where the To Lich River was once the gateway to the Red River in Ha Khau Ward ( estuary) in the past. The old Hang Buom Street used to be a busy place of trading goods related to watercraft and boats for sailing gathered at Van Chai Phuc Tan Phuc Xa Wharf not far away. Behind the old Cantonese Assembly Hall is the To Lich River running all the way to Buoi before the French planned to level it up and renamed the city of An Sat Sieu that has now become Nguyen Sieu Street. The exhibition “Memories of To River” is an attempt to continue the dialogue with context and place with a very special space of the old Cantonese Assembly Hall, contributing to the continuity of the artistic flow of a cultural and artistic Space of 22 Hang Buom.

Nguyễn Thế Sơn


Leave a Reply