Sympathetic – Phuong Quoc Tri
Phuong Quoc Tri has found in Expressionism the language that is fit with his burning creative energy. He did not set out to choose nude as the motive for his paintings. His images of naked men and women, painted with strong expression, come about as result of depressed loneliness and seemingly unbearable hardship of daily life. Through the explosive passion as expressed in nude images, Tri has also found for himself a way to express the illusion and mystery of a double life, in which hidden passions are allowed to flow freely with all of their surprises and charms to the eyes.
The curves and the sexual softness often seen in nude paintings seem to be too weak for Tri’s emotions. They had to give space to the other spectrum of emotions --- so tense, so extreme, and so strong as well as so masculine. That is why even in his paintings of families or mother and sons, we can feel a visual depression, taking us to a life where people have to fight to embrace life and to overcome life’s hardship.
To Phuong Quoc Tri, painting is the journey to freedom --- free to discover himself and his deep emotions; free to play with improvising figures and blocks. Tri becomes his true self when he is no longer bound within emotional limits.
The intensity felt in the figurative movements in Tri’s paintings act like a breeze to the paintings themselves, helping to balance the oppressed desires of the painter who is so keen to express himself and his own view.
With a collection of 24 paintings done in 2007-2008, Phuong Quoc Tri has lifted his paintings to even a stronger level of emotions, through getting rid of unneeded details of the body figures. In a number of his new works, we can see figures that are like they have been roughly sculpted, showing all their solidness and rawness, quite typical in sculpture. We can clearly see the sculptural nature in Tri’s paintings. The inner twisting with pain formerly seen in his works has become less, giving way to a calmer and quieter view.
It looks like Tri never tires of finding himself and his emotions when he paints --- that is also where he is found least balanced. There, behind each stroke of his is the movement of his model, carrying with it the emotions of the artist. It is like we are enjoying a contemporary dance, captivated by the choreography which has been brought to life by the movements of the dancer’s own muscles in that dance, the body has raised up its voice, forcing us to feel more than just the colors of the paints in the painting. Against the monologue of a single color, there is a private story of an individual, with his own joys and sorrows, dilemmas and depressions, worries and hope, desires and dreams. All are alive, through the passion of a human body and its movements…, in the performance of a contemporary dance.
Duong Thu Hang - Hanoi Studio