Composition | Construct

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all photos presented works installation views
Thien Do
Don’t use bad language
2007
acrylic and collage on canvas
80 x 60 cm
Thien Do
Don’t give bad advices
2007
acrylic and collage on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Thien Do
Don’t spread bad rumors
2007
acrylic and collage on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Thien Do
Don’t draw bad things II
2008
acrylic and collage on canvas
145 x 145 cm
Tran Van Thao
Untitled IV from ‘April‘ series
2004
acrylic, oil, pencil, oil pastel, papier-mâché on canvas
50 x 50 cm
Tran Van Thao
Untitled VII from ‘April‘ series
2004
acrylic, pencil, oil pastel, papier-mâché on canvas
90 x 70 cm
Tran Van Thao
Untitled XII from ‘April’ series
2004
acrylic, oil pastel, papier-mâché on canvas
120 x 80 cm
Tran Van Thao
#10 from ‘Blue Skies & Fairy Tales’
2006
acrylic, oil, cut canvas, papier-mâché, crayon on canvas
100 x 80 cm
Tran Van Thao
Rain in Sunlight VI
2008
acrylic and oil on canvas
120 x 160 cm
Tran Van Thao
Cross I
2008
acrylic and oil on canvas
160 x 120 cm
Tran Van Thao
Cross II
2008
acrylic and oil on canvas
90 x 90 cm
Nguyen Trung
Crying River I
2008
acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Nguyen Trung
Crying River II
2008
acrylic on canvas
100 x 100 cm
Nguyen Thanh Truc
Untitled from ‘Surface’
2005
acrylic and glue on canvas
120 x 120 cm
Nguyen Thanh Truc
Horizontal and Vertical
2002
papier-mâché, acrylic and glue on canvas
100 x 90 cm
Nguyen Thanh Truc
Vestiges
2002
papier-mâché, acrylic and glue on canvas
60 x 60 x 3 panels

SYNOPSIS

The selection of works in this exhibition illustrate various techniques, aesthetics and themes by four artists whose primary visual language is abstraction. Whether the paintings are layered with vibrant colors communicating a joie de vivre or marked with doodles, scratches and punctures with undertones of violence and rebellion, all the works reveal extreme depth, thought and deft control with the medium of paint and collage.

Tran Van Thao paints, scrapes, constructs and scratches to challenge the notion of the flat picture plane. Canvas is used not only as a painting support, but is also manipulated through cutting and pasting in direct engagement with the paint medium.

Thick layers of acrylic, papier-mâché and glue are a hallmark of Nguyen Thanh Truc’s canvases. Through its crevasses, gaps and scratches, Truc’s work suggest fragments, stories and histories that have been forgotten.

Nguyen Trung’s Crying River I and II evoke quiet water waves and slow waterlogged clouds. This peaceful and delicate series, in shades of blue and white, possesses a calming serenity. The works encourage the viewer to distance oneself from the materiality of life.

Thien Do’s collaged compositions of newsprint and acrylic paint refer to the over-use of rules and regulations in Vietnamese society.  Investigating the concept of social order and questioning its limits, Thien Do uses the surface of his canvases to re-create the context of our urban environment. Thesubtle tones in his work, emphasized by the fading newsprint, evoke the old walls of Saigon fated for demolition.