by Bach Lien
|Going for a song: The Dance by Tran Tuan Nam is on display at 61 Ly Thai To Street. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI — About 20 paintings and installation pieces displayed on the footpath in Ha Noi's Ly Thai To Street are a symphony of different tones.
Five exhibitors tell their own stories through their works.
Sculptor Phan Phuong Dong from HCM City displays the work Going Through Winter, which is hung on the wall of the Music Publishing House, showing a group of flying bicycles, comprised of 22 frames, which are painted red and white.
Christmas lights are installed under the work, creating a street symphony.
"The bicycle frames remind me of the period where everyone rode them," Dong said.
"When I went to pagodas, I saw people worship white and red horses so I used those colours to worship the time people had bicycles."
Dong spent three years collecting the bicycle frames and this is the first time he has displayed his work on the street.
Under the installation, there are 20 paintings by four young artists, freshly graduated from the Viet Nam Fine Arts College. Each artist gives a message of contemporary life.
Using oil on canvas, Nguyen Khac Chinh wants to criticise the life of bald mannequins. In his work, a group of bold mannequins are standing close to each other. One mannequin wears a bikini and sunglasses, and holds in her hand a bag on which is written "Sale off 80 per cent".
Chinh's other painting, Searching Real Face, depicts a young woman in a long yellow dress, wearing a mask on her face and holding a mask in her hand. Under her feet lie several masks. Chinh says the real is mixed with the false, as it is in contemporary life.
The works of Do Van Hiep, Tran Tuan Nam and Nguyen Hong Phuong are in different styles at the exhibit, causing curious viewers to try to find a meaning.
"The art made me think over and over. It's not easy to understand it at first. But I try while reading the caption written below," says viewer Nguyen Thanh Ngoc.
Contemporary art may be strange to the Vietnamese public but the artists hope the viewers will understand their work one day, having learned to enjoy them through such exhibitions.
"We want to bring academic artistic works to the people in the streets, to attract their attention," says Dong. "Only when the art is close to the public will artists find more inspiration to create."
The exhibit at 61 Ly Thai To Street runs till January 15. — VNS