Humming at the End of a Dream

Humming at the End of a Dream

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Opening: 04 pm – 07 pm, Sat 06 Apr 2024
Exhibition: 06 Apr – 09 Jun 2024
Sàn Art
Units B0616 & B0617, 6th Floor, Block B Office, Millennium Masteri, Ward 6, District 4, HCMC (enter via Nguyen Huu Hao street)

From the organizer:

‘Humming at the End of a Dream’, a solo exhibition by Nghia Dang, investigates the artist’s continuing interest in the construction of the psyche and the mind’s capacity for image-making. The title alludes to the elusive and indescribable feeling left behind upon awakening from these states of sleep. The vague recollections, the uncertainty of sensations and feelings, the remaining traces of these symbols as we regain consciousness. A feeling of being close to unmasking these secrets but never quite putting our finger on it with certainty, an experience akin to hearing someone humming a melody — could this be …? We may never know but we are getting closer. Nghia Dang’s artistic journey has also been a consistent evolution of these questions, the writings of the psychoanalysts Lacan and Jung creating a framework for his practice. The artist does not simply create in an impulsive or cathartic manner but, by considering himself as the primary subject of his art, is able to understand and dissect the connections behind his mind and work.

The image-making process has the power to transform the psychic terrain of an individual because it carries elements of our unconscious to the surface, putting words unto unknown wounds, bringing us closer to potential healing or wholeness. But in this act of transference, the artist does not attempt to simply transpose or recreate these dreams which could never be translated or recounted with exactitude. Instead the image-making process takes control and leads the artist without preconceived intentions, producing a picture of a different type, like creating a dream in the present on paper or canvas. In no way a reproduction of the mental image, these fantastical approximations are in reality closer to the essence of the initial intuition provided by the subconscious. Sometimes the work comes intuitively and he analyses it afterwards, and sometimes the intuition comes first. He follows the threads, unravelling the thoughts behind as the process of needlework forces him to spend time with these images and visualise his own mind-map.

About artist Nghĩa Đặng

Nghia Dang (b. 1994, Hanoi) uses psychoanalytical ideas, and in particular the Lacanian approach, as a tool to traverse what he calls ‘the ruin within himself’, making sense of his experiences, relationships and, perhaps most salient of all, how the self is constructed. The artworks alternate between visceral iterations of reality and the imaginary realm to recount stories, often of emotional tumult.

Nghia earned his BFA in Studio Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018. The same year, his first solo exhibition ‘Scenes of the Imago’ was held at The Factory Contemporary Art Centre. Since then, his works have been exhibited at various local and international spaces, including Galerie Quynh (HCMC, Vietnam), Richard Koh Fine Arts (Singapore), The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre (HCMC, Vietnam), and VCCA (Hanoi, Vietnam). Nghia was chosen as a finalist for the 2019 Dogma Prize, and in 2020 he was selected as a Season 3 funded artist at A. Farm International Art Residency, founded by Sàn Art, MoT+++ and the Nguyen Art Foundation. Nghia currently teaches Art and Art History at Hoa Sen University, HCMC, Vietnam.

About Sàn Art

Founded in 2007 in Ho Chi Minh City as an artist-led platform, Sàn Art has since grown into a leading independent arts organisation in Vietnam and the region. Maintaining a commitment to grassroots support for local and international artists and cultural work, Sàn Art is also a site for critical discourse with regular educational initiatives.

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