HEAVEN IS A PLACE

Filter By Sets
all photos presented works installation views
Hanoi Landscape No. 1
2010
acrylic on canvas
140 x 230cm
Hanoi Landscape No. 2
2010
acrylic on canvas
140 x 230cm
Hanoi Landscape No. 3
2010
acrylic on canvas
140 x 230cm
Hanoi Landscape No. 4
2010
acrylic on canvas
75 x 170cm
Hanoi Landscape No. 9
2011
acrylic on canvas
55 x 150cm
Hanoi Landscape No. 10
2011
acrylic & acrylic medium on canvas
75 x 170cm
Hanoi Landscape No. 12
2013
acrylic, acrylic medium and charcoal on canvas
150 x 250cm
Landscape of Hue Forbidden City No. 1
2013
acrylic, acrylic medium & charcoal on canvas
150 x 250cm
Landscape of Hue Forbidden City No. 2
2013
acrylic, oil, acrylic medium & charcoal on canvas
150 x 250cm
Landscape of Hue Forbidden City No. 2
2013
acrylic, oil, acrylic medium & charcoal on canvas
150 x 250cm
Hue Citadel Landscape No. 2
2011
acrylic & oil on canvas
70 x 175cm
Hue Citadel Landscape No. 3
2011
acrylic & collage on canvas
75 x 170cm
Saigon Landscape No. 1
2010
acrylic on canvas
140 x 230cm
Saigon Landscape No. 2
2010
acrylic on canvas
140 x 230cm
Saigon Landscape No. 4
2010
acrylic on canvas
140 x 230cm

SYNOPSIS

Galerie Quynh is pleased to present Hanoi-based artist Ha Manh Thang’s first solo exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City. Featuring a new body of work depicting monuments and edifices that symbolize Vietnam’s urban centers, HEAVEN IS A PLACE reflects the artist’s continued concern in reconciling Vietnam’s cultural and social history with the dramatic changes the country has undergone since Doi Moi.

Widely known for his bold and colorful satirical paintings that juxtapose Vietnam’s past and its rich heritage with fashionable images of consumerist culture, Thang’s new work is less about flash and more introspective and subdued. A waft of irony, however, still pervades the series as the exhibition title suggests.

HEAVEN IS A PLACE questions the connections between the buildings we construct and the ideals they embody. Thang looks at powerful and iconic monuments such as Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Hue Citadel, Ben Thanh Market and Bitexco Financial Tower and reduces them to their basic forms with no visible details. These reconstructions/erasures resemble rudimentary architectural drawings against anonymous backgrounds, or appear like silhouettes in an ominous almost apocalyptic scene. Vulnerable and exposed, their physical, imposing stature may seem diminished but their symbolic power still exists. That their identities cannot be stripped entirely reveals how deeply the images and ideals are ingrained in our collective consciousness. Is it possible to even reexamine the meanings and power of these structures/ideals? What do the transparent layers in these landscapes suggest? When these landscapes physically disappear, will they continue to be relevant or will their significance be lost?