Galerie Quynh is pleased to present 78 rhythms – a solo exhibition by Hanoi-based artist Nguyen Huy An. Known for his quiet performances of transforming the most mundane and familiar of materials into simple and poetic artworks, Nguyen Huy An is among the most innovative artists of his generation. While focusing on new and recent work, the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery will also include the acclaimed work ‘The Roads’ (2007), presented in Ho Chi Minh City for the first time.
Whether measuring the streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter with black thread, collecting dust on the Vinh Tuy Bridge, condensing the monstrous structure of a skyscraper into a humble stack of paper, or obsessively painting the same village pond for over a decade, Huy An creates a personal visual archive of memories and histories that relate to the social and political contexts of the sites he records. The artist states, ‘’In the context of a growing economy, it is important to look at and realize how modernity, and by extension the passage of time, casts shadows on our existence and engenders zones of darkness in our collective psychology.’’ Negotiating the tension between a nostalgia for nature and the inexorable juggernaut of human progress, Huy An resorts to measuring as a means of self-contraction – as an act of reifying memories and ideas, and relocating, re-contextualizing and reducing concrete structures, creating forms that appear more humanistic.
Nguyen Huy An has an artistic predilection for dark materials: the melancholic color of dark and moody spaces where the artist has lived, the black color of clothes and hair, the sadness of his grandmother, his mother, his sisters and other women in his life. Huy An’s work is, in an intricate and profound way, the color of night like the nostalgic shadows hanging over life’s ordinary objects.
Born in 1982 in Hanoi, Nguyen Huy An is among the most dynamic and innovative artists of his generation. He has participated in a number of exhibitions and performance art festivals including Disrupted Choreographies, Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nimes, France (2014); If The World Changed, Singapore Biennale (2013); sounds of dust (somniloquy), 943 Studio, Kunming, China (2011); Anatomy of an assembly line with an error, Nha San Studio, Hanoi, Vietnam; Lim Dim, Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway (2009); Tam Ta, San Art, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2009); and the Nippon International Performance Art Festival (NIPAF), Tokyo, Japan (2007).
In 2010 Huy An co-founded with artists Vu Duc Toan and Hoang Minh Duc the performance art collective The Appendix Group (Phu Luc). The group has performed in festivals in Vietnam, Singapore and China. Nguyen Huy An lives and works in Hanoi, Vietnam.