Galerie Quynh is pleased to announce the exhibition Farmers Got Power by Nguyen Manh Hung, one of Vietnam’s most accomplished young artists. For his second solo exhibition at the gallery, Nguyen has created a new body of sculptures, paintings and photos depicting an absurd world under constant threat where the past, present and future collapse into one perpetual cycle.
Images of soldiers, weapons, planes and fire trucks suggest a sense of urgency, calamity and danger, yet the addition of domesticated creatures (turtles, chickens and even a snail) pose little menace. An ambiguous violence is suggested within a calm, subdued atmosphere. Through keen, satirical humor with elusive narratives, the artist looks at issues of power, control and protection. Nguyen states, “These works depict the precautions and preparations as a defense for an impending upheaval – one that is unknown yet strangely familiar from the past. Precaution has become an everyday routine, as natural as we live and breathe.”
A reference to the reality TV show America’s Got Talent (the Got Talent franchise is broadcast in Vietnam as Vietnam’s Got Talent), Farmers Got Power is also an awkward phrasing of what could be a public slogan or comedic film. Are Nguyen’s farmers – in the guise of the domesticated animals – the heroes who save the world?