Realm of the Clouds — Nguyen The Hung
“Realm of the Clouds” the new exhibition consisting of twenty-eight artworks by Nguyen The Hung will be introduced to art lovers in the Spring of 2017 after three years of preparation. Colorful wandering clouds in Hung’s works are inspired by traditional cloud ornaments from Vietnam’s ancient citadels and temples. Those ancient ornaments act like a negative version of clouds wandering throughout the space of the pieces. They link together to create a limbo world, where matters become vague and surreal. Another level lies underneath, hiding deep below the clouds the artist has created realms of consciousness and thoughts. Hung, joyful and relaxed, plays around with his dots. Silver dots, golden dots, together they light up the atmosphere to create a passive aura. Ornamental clouds, or simply just dots, they move from one shape to another, unsettled trying to find a logical order for themselves to fit in therefore challenging viewers’ senses. The order of signs creates spaces of uncertainties and invalidities, where the artist’s stories would be tied together and unfold. Silently, the artist submerges himself into an imaginative valley with no boundaries of shapes, strokes, and of random visual connections. The dreamy artist tries to hold on to his childhood memories, from straw scarecrows, late afternoon birds, handmade kites, boys looking after horses in mountain areas, to stories about men, women and children, whispers of surrounding nature seemingly sprouting.
Trying out a new approach and method, the primary medium of Hung’s “Realm of the Clouds” is lacquer on canvas. He is very satisfied with his results and outcomes. Mixtures of Vietnamese traditional paint with its signature reddish tone, along with gold, and silver, create an atmosphere of enchanting feeling and ambiguity, further enhancing the decorative aspects of Hung’s works.
Nguyen The Hung, belonging to the third-generation of visual artists of Vietnam (dating from the 1980’s of the twentieth century), together with a few notable others, has been creating and representing a different, bolder and more attractive esthetic of Vietnamese contemporary art in this recent decade.
Duong Thu Hang - Hanoi Studio