Virtually every aspect of our daily life is bound to some kind of custom or convention, either self-imposed or imposed upon us. One could argue that to exist in a modern society is to contend with its rules. Some are guidelines for personal conduct. Some are regulations to maintain social order. Some rules aim to preserve the status quo, others to change it. Some are designed to move things forward, others to prevent things from moving too fast.
But when does preservation impede on progress? What separates prevention and suppression? Protection and oppression?
These pieces employ the formal elements of painting – color, texture and composition – as a means to explore the vast gray space between these extremes. Layer upon layer, the evolution of these paintings follows a sort of dialectical pattern in the quest to find the balance between order and chaos, the intentional and the accidental.
The phrases included in each piece provide a more literal articulation of this search. Depending on the context, the Vietnamese word ‘bay’ takes on different meanings – improper, false, unethical, immoral, obscene, evil, misleading, unauthorized, politically incorrect. What is improper in one instance may not be so in the next. In fact, the very act of questioning the propriety of a rule can at times be deemed improper.