A World of Mysteries — Tran Viet Phu

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Over the past decade, Tran Viet Phu has sought his own personal aesthetic through diligent study and painting, often discarding works that didi not speak to his aesthetic. In this time, however, there has been one major change in his art, a move from lightness to darkness. Phu says that the “spririt rises out of the darkness.” The spirit that rises out of the texture of his heavily applied layering of oil paint is one that seems alive with the energy of life, but an energy that is not always readily accessible to the viewer.

 

Since the year 2000, I wanted to make a painting that looked as if it had a layer of dust on the surface. It is challenging because I want to avoid first impressions of a subject,” he says. “I want to create another view of the subject, more abstract, something magical between the light and the dark, the world in between light and dark.”

 

For Tran Viet Phu, painting is a voyage between the past and the present, between tradition and modernity, between life and death. For the viewer his art is a journey into secrets of the world waiting to be revealed. Whether he is making a portrait, a still life, or an interior, Phu’s world between the light and the dark is a lyrical, narrative one, a powerful visual poetry of mysteries that seduce the imagination, making the ordinary extraordinary.

 

Ian Findlay – Brown

Asian Art News, Volume 16, Number 6 November/December 2006

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