’The Four Subjects'

’The Four Subjects'

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Opening: Fri 07 Oct 2022, 06:30 pm
Display: Tues – Sun 08 Oct – 05 Nov 2022, 11 am – 07 pm
Manzi Exhibition Space
02 Ngõ Hàng Bún, Hà Nội

From Manzi:

Manzi is proud to present ‘The Four Subjects’ – a new series of installations by visual artist Nguyễn Huy An, one of the most important figures of Vietnamese contemporary art.

For this comeback after three years (since his third solo show in Saigon), Huy An assembles an exclusive space for singular objects/relationships which would provoke an odd encounter of disparate subjects (they are essentially alien to each other and, at first sight, seemingly unfamiliar to the keen followers of Huy An’s art practices as well).

The new series of installation artworks features neither a reiteration of Huy An’s recurring motifs centered around his personal memories and the rural Northern Vietnam nor a replay of predominant themes such as local religious & spiritual dimensions and the divine & the profane which had often haunted Huy An’s practices with subtle shading of nostalgia for the past years. ‘The Four subjects’, nevertheless, is a display of his new and ongoing meditations on the potential possibilities of the visible / the action of seeing:
– A study of a very narrow blind area in the horse’s vision
– A reproduction of the comprehensive illustrated encyclopedia of Vietnamese Geography in the reign of Emperor Minh Mạng
– A co-presence of a lasting powerful light source and an ephemeral standard light with the minimum luminous intensity/ traces of its absence
– An extended thread of blanked-out images rhythmically punctuated with 51 bright colorful trails – effects of light leak in the first frames at the beginning of a film roll

A nuanced diagram of various scenarios, a bulleted list of prospects, with conciseness, clarity yet ambiguity, on the basis of diverse references. ‘Four Subjects’, therefore, resists the tendency to be interpreted as a coherent narrative that compels clear-cut messages or epic conclusions, but rather, provides clues of a puzzle lock. Scattered in a clear irreducible space, four sets of installations formulate somewhat of a tricky multi-point latching system; once this mechanism is unlocked with the right key, all pieces eventually fall into place. However, before the time comes, this arrangement, in the form of fragmented archives, is a dissonant structure. Apart from sharing some common characteristics in the artist’s reticence and restraint, along with the faint imprints of his personal codes (the light and shadow, the anonymous emptiness/ darkness and the futile attempt to preserve the remnants of vanishing cultures or to record the faded shades of the past), four installations of ‘The Four Subjects’, albeit connected in one theme called ‘seeing’, manifest themselves in a visual disharmony. This discordant presence sets off a tension of the haphazard and the random, of the absurdity and the evanescence, of the definitive and the infinite.

In that way, entailed in Four Subjects the implication of ‘Seeing or Not Seeing’/‘In sight or Out of sight’ is not a mutually exclusive claim or a two-choice question. Instead, a ‘No’ can be a ‘Yes’ and vice versa, everything is a metaphor. By confronting us with confounding variables in his experiment, Huy An opens up a free space that enables us to go beyond our limited perception which has always been dominated by our sense of sight and visual information

Notes for visitors:
– Due to the complexity of the installation and for the best experience, we can only accommodate max 10 persons for each slot.
– In light of the current coronavirus developments, please wear a mask when visiting
– Free admission (the event is not appropriate for children under 12)

This is part of manzi’s art programme under the patronage of the Goethe Institut.

Follow updates on event’s page.

Manzi Art Space
14 Phan Huy Ich, Hanoi
Manzi Exhibition Space
02 Ngo Hang Bun, Hà Nội
Tel: (024) 3716 3397