Salomon Arts Gallery is pleased to present ‘Another Land’, a solo exhibition of new works by Nguyen The Hung.
The paintings of Nguyen the Hung (born Vietnam, 1981) are many layered, both literally and figuratively. Through the artist’s skilled combinations of materials, techniques and imagery, each painting becomes its own imaginative land in which the conflicts and communions between the eternal and the fleeting, the traditional and the modern, the philosophical and the aesthetic are beautifully explored. Standing before these works, the viewer looks into an imaginative world that is not static or didactic, but alive and ever-changing. In these works, Hung uses unique traditional Vietnamese materials, combined with one another in new ways as well as with modern practices.
The imagery Hung draws from and creates in his paintings reflects his deep exploration of the relationship between the traditional and the modern. Hung speaks of his childhood in the mountains, his own relationship with nature through the planting and nurture of his trees, and his interest in the greater organic unity of art and life. ‘Another Land’ is a place where one may become lost, with both the anxiety and the possibility that entails. Looking long into a work, the viewer may see both a modern magazine model or pin-up girl and the delicate, flowing patterns from traditional Vietnamese architecture. Some shapes appear figurative and like tree roots, leading the eye closer into the painting, some are purely emotional colour and texture, some appear as ancient symbols or archetypes. The viewer is constantly dazzled, disoriented and challenged to look deeper.
Nguyen The Hung describes his painting as ‘observing the moving points in my imagination’. The artist’s imagination and the natural secrets of the materials combine to create a window into ‘Another Land’ of unique depth, richness, and integrity.
I am observing the moving points in imagination. For me, Art is like middle points to help me show my fantasy to the world around me.
Inspired by pin-up paintings, I often use the image of models on posters or lifestyle magazines to combine with the decorative patterns on Vietnamese historic architecture. To me, this blend reflects the integration and ongoing conflict between traditional and modern elements; and at the same time, its influence alters social values and core attitudes. This process evokes concerns about the quality of culture, society, morality as well as art, thus it fosters my creative energy.