Parallel Contemporary Art and the Saatchi Gallery team up with AIA Vietnam Life Insurance to present major exhibition and book on contemporary Vietnamese art.
Running at Casa Italia in Hanoi until 13 January 2017, “AIA Vietnam Eye” brings into focus the work of 19 Vietnamese artists among the 56 featured in the publication.
Launched on 14 November 2016, “AIA Vietnam Eye” is a celebration of Vietnam’s vibrant contemporary art scene and is the eighth project in the Global Eye Programme, established in 2009 by David and Serenella Ciclitira in collaboration with the Saatchi Gallery in order to nurture artistic talent across Asia’s emerging art scenes.
The Vietnam exhibition is organised by Parallel Contemporary Art in collaboration with AIA (AIA Vietnam Life Insurance Co Ltd) and the Saatchi Gallery, who have also worked on the accompanying, comprehensive book published by SKIRA, entitled Vietnam Eye: Contemporary Vietnamese Art. The publication features 56 Vietnamese contemporary artists, out of which 19 take part in the exhibition at Casa Italia in Hanoi. The initiative is sponsored by AIA and supported by the Government of Vietnam, as well as the Italian and the British Ambassadors to Vietnam.
The exhibition and book offer an overview of one of the newest and most exciting art scenes to emerge in the global art world. The exhibition is curated by Serenella Ciclitira (Founder of Parallel Contemporary Art), Nigel Hurst (CEO of Saatchi Gallery), Niru Ratnam (Director of START) and Hanoi-based artist and curator Tran Luong. Among the artists on show are Ha Manh Thang, Lai Thi Dieu Ha, Le Quy Tong, Nguyen Manh Hung, Trong Gia Nguyen and UuDam Tran Nguyen.
Alongside the main exhibition there will be a series of satellite exhibitions, which will take place at nest by AIA in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The satellite exhibitions will combine artist presentations and educational workshops for children and families. The first satellite event launched on 19 November in Hanoi features artist Ha Tri Hieu and is curated by Tran Luong. Both artist and curator are members of Hanoi’s ‘Gang of Five’, the first group of young artists to gain international renown after Vietnam opened up in the late 1980s. Born in Hanoi in 1959, Ha Tri Hieu is inspired by the rural life in Vietnam and his childhood memories, and his poetic, expressionist paintings highlight the beauty and simplicity of the Vietnamese countryside.
The exhibition features works in diverse media, including painting and drawing, photography, installation, performance and video.
Duy Phuong (b. 1984) presents a series of photographs that capture life stories around a lake or body of water. In a statement, he talks about how the lake “merges with the people and their existence” and forms the basis of his work. For the artist, the lives of people can be understood by immersing oneself into them, as one immerses oneself in the water to understand its currents.
The twin brothers artist duo Le Brothers (b. 1975) explore Vietnamese contemporary life through the evolution of the country’s history, delving in the past and diving into the future. Their works feature the conflicts, dilemmas and desires inherent in contemporary living, within which live dichotomies that are identified by the brothers in their practice as symbols of North and South (Vietnam) and their stories.
Nguyen The Son (b. 1978) seeks out the remnants of the past in urban street signage as well as other visual signs on the façades of the buildings and structures around the city, which are gradually disappearing to give way to modernised construction. According to the artist, each of his artistic projects raises a question about Hanoi’s values, “the values of cultural and living spaces that we used to have and [are] trying to build today, and what they will become in the future”.
Ly Hoang Ly (b. 1975) presents an ongoing project entitled 0395A.ĐC, which she started in the fall of 2011. 0395A.ĐC is a number sequence painted on a Vietnamese refugee boat that she found on the Internet. In the photo, the alphabet letters starting the number sequence are very difficult to read. By using the fragmented number from the boat, Ly is drawing attention to notions of dislocation, immigration and transformation of human lives, processes through which human belongings and heritage are lost in transition.
Hoang Duong Cam (b. 1974) produces work that explores personal history and narratives in relationship to broader historical references, thus uncovering the possibility of creating untold stories through the process of art-making. Collating fragments of reality and history, truth can be re-imagined.
C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia
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- “BODY/PLAY/POLITICS”: Asian and African artists at Yokohama Museum of Art – November 2016 – “BODY/PLAY/POLITICS” presents the work of six artists from Asia and Africa
- Under the veil: tales of love, loss and memory by Vietnamese photographer Phan Quang – July 2016 – Vietnamese artist uses photography, props, real life characters and stories to stage images that speak of socio-political history as well as personal stories
- “The Colony”: Vietnamese artist Dinh Q. Lê at Artangel, London – September 2016 – Dinh Q. Lê explores colonial exploitation of resources in 19th century Pacific in his latest video installation “The Colony”
- Queer Artivisms in Asia: 10 artist highlights – September 2016 – Art Radar highlights a selection of queer art practices from around the Asian region
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