Opening: Sat 10 June 2023, 06 pm – 08 pm
Exhibition: Tues – Sat, 13 June – 05 Aug 2023, 10 am – 07 pm
118 Nguyễn Văn Thủ, ĐaKao, D.1, HCMC
From the organizer:
In the vast expanse of the universe, we find ourselves in an infinitesimally small space, encountering endless mysteries that defy our understanding. Throughout history, artists and scientists alike have been captivated by the idea of parallel realities. Drawing inspiration from quantum mechanics, string theory, and avant-garde art movements, Neverwhere delves into the uncharted territories of the imagination, transcending conventional norms and questioning the limitations of our perception. The exhibition brings together six visionary artists – Nadege David, Cian Duggan, Sandrine Llouquet, Ngo Dinh Bao Chau, Trong Gia Nguyen, and Vo Tran Chau – who invite us on a mesmerizing journey through the intersections of art, science, and spirituality. The title “Neverwhere” borrows from the eponymous novel by Neil Gaiman that depicts an unseen world beneath the sewers – LondonBelow– where strange destinies await, suggesting the idea of a physical space that does not yet exist in time.
Challenging the traditional notion of a white cube space and defying gravitational shackles, the exhibition propels us into a surreal dimension where otherworldly beings exist in parallel to our own reality. Here, half-open doors float weightlessly in a state of flux, as beings seek to reveal their visible form. Time is not linear but coexists with back-forth and up-down movements. As truth eludes us, the blending of the flat, the illusory, and the dimensional intertwines without hierarchy, while time challenges our perceptions, shaping memories into fragments of endurance.
Vo Tran Chau weaves found fabrics and used clothes into mosaic patterns, meticulously reconstructing historical sites and photographic images. Her practice sheds light on the nature of memory and the intricate complexities of the past, capturing the emotional resonance of textiles while recognizing and healing generational wounds. Cian Duggan opens that same door to another dimension where ghostly figures in mysterious, fanciful settings, blur the line between reality and imagination. These figures act as portals to uncanny realms. They guide us to the enigmatic storytelling pages of Ngo Dinh Bao Chau where faded tales are portrayed through her peculiar imagery: empty stages and ethereal flowers suggest yearning for pageantry; a school child stands behind a barbed wire fence with a looming monument in the distance; silhouettes of human figures are disproportionately situated in vast natural landscapes in some kind of mental struggle. Simultaneously, in a parallel dimension, Nadege David explores the multifaceted connections between humans, animals, and nature through opulent paintings. Alongside intricate ink drawings, she uses acrylic, pastels, glass paint, and ceramic paint on canvas to evoke surreal landscapes teeming with ambiguous and shapeless life forms.
In this realm, Sandrine Llouquet merges traditional symbols with contemporary themes, reflecting the evolving nature of culture, identity, and memory. Through a powerful exploration of religion and beliefs, she seeks to find common connections that hold enduring significance in the human psyche. Inspired by her experiences in diverse countries, including Vietnam, she adds a cross-cultural dimension to her examination of time, space, and the human condition. Rewinding into the painful history of war ruins, Trong Gia Nguyen’s Mom
andDad,MeadowlakePark,circa1980oil pastel painting and well as his series of barbed wire work, inspired by the Con Dao archipelago notorious for its prisons from 1862-1975, delves into memory and displacement.
About Galerie Quynh
Recognized as Vietnam’s leading contemporary art gallery, Galerie Quynh has been actively promoting contemporary art practice in the country for over two decades. The gallery maintains a consistent and focused program promoting emerging, mid-career and established artists in Vietnam and internationally. Operating in a country that lacks a strong art ecosystem, the gallery is a hybrid space that serves its community through its public programs and support of art education. The gallery regularly collaborates with artists, curators, museums, and cultural organizations locally and internationally to organize talks and lectures as well as produce publications in English and Vietnamese. In May 2014 the gallery founded the not-for-profit educational initiative SaoLadirected by artists Tung Mai and Nguyen Kim To Lan. SaoLa has since evolved into an independent artist collective spearheaded by To Lan and Dalat-based artist Nguyen Duc Dat. In summer 2020 with support from the Goethe-Institut, the gallery launched the not-for-profit CáRô, an educational initiative that provides art education for students aged 13-18 who show demonstrative interest in the arts.
A new chapter began in December 2017 when the gallery moved to a 600 sqm space in Dakao, District 1. Spread over four floors, the gallery is able to produce more ambitious programming and play an even more vital role in the cultural community in Vietnam.
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