In Do Thanh Lang’s paintings there is a hidden force within their bright swathes of colours that intrigues and confuses. The performativity of his characters and heightened drama of the scenes act as a visual confidence trick, masking the dangers lying in wait beneath the superficial resin. The spectator takes the role of the dreamer, for like in dreams one is unsure how one arrived at this, or any particular instance. Navigating through the artist’s perplexing, surrealist tableaux, the spectator–dreamer is but a character equipped with scripts and storylines, though acting as witness rather than participant. As his frantic brushmarks flit between the crude layers of plastic and resin, Do Thanh Lang seems to mimic that hypnagogic state of mind where darkness turns to dreams.
Approaching art practice with a rare instinct – visible through the craggy edges of his canvas, or the occasional insect fossilised by his resin pour – Do Thanh Lang is aptly positioned to extract humour from a dire situation. In all their hazy strangeness, his artworks are akin to pieces of a memory – a visual journal of altered consciousness.
Born in 1986 in Ho Chi Minh City, Do Thanh Lang studied painting at the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University. His work has been shown in a number of group exhibitions in Vietnam regionally, such as Lunar Breccia, Galerie Quynh; Alluvium, Galerie Quynh; song of the cicada among summer poppies, Galerie Quynh; Hopscotch, Galerie Quynh; Salt of the Jungle, Vietnamese–Korean group exhibition, Seoul, Korea; NGUCHONOBAY, curated by Sao La, Galerie Quynh; Out of Museum, Sao La; Chung, PongDang Gallery; Out of Nowhere, Sao La; and My Eldest Sister, San Art.
Do has also participated in Spot Art Singapore 2014 at ARTrium@MCI, Singapore, and undertaken the Brown Movement residency programme at Heritage Space in Hanoi.
Do lives and works between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.