Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — While some children run back and forth through a large metal frame, some men gather by a small table, re-arranging two halves of a round metal object. A square wood pillar stands right in front of the entrance, urging people to touch it while passing by.
Unlike many other art exhibitions, where visitors often have to keep a distance while enjoying the artworks, the on-going Chạm (Sense) exhibition of sculptor Lương Văn Việt invites people to interact with displayed objects.
Presenting 15 sculptures, which all were designed in minimalist style, Sense acts as an invitation for the audience to come into contact with the works using all of their senses. They can walk around and through the work, look at them from afar, or come closer and pick them up for a more intimate inspection.
"I hope to offer the audience a sense of freedom. The freedom to physically experience the characteristics of the materials: the warmth of wood, the heaviness of stone and the coolness of metal. The freedom to compare and judge the similarities and differences in terms of composition and distance between the works. The freedom to create their own narrative and relationship with art. The freedom to sense what is real," artist Việt said.
According to Vũ Ngọc Trâm, founder of the Manzi Art Space, which is hosting the Sense exhibition, Việt’s artworks are a kind of accessible art, which is the one that Manzi is focusing on.
"As Manzi organises new exhibitions every month to present and support young Vietnamese artists, we also would like to introduce celebrated artists such as Lương Văn Việt," she said.
Unlike any other conventional sculpture show, Sense has been designed to not only incorporate Manzi’s existing architectural features, but also to manipulate its dual function. It asks where Manzi — as an art and exhibition space — ends, and Manzi — as a cafe and space for social interactions — begins.
"A few weeks after the Sense opened, we are very delighted to witness several visits of young people, including a big group from Hải Phòng [about 100km from Hà Nội], who showed their special interest in these artworks. We can say that it’s not delicious coffee or the tranquil atmosphere of an art space drawing those people, but the minimal artworks," Trâm said.
Born in 1977 and graduated from the Việt Nam University of Art, Việt has been considered one of the best sculptors in Việt Nam today.
Using minimal shapes and colours to create a sophisticated and elegant contrast, his works explore and push boundaries between spaces and forms, revealing the philosophy of co-existence and human existentialism.
Việt had introduced his minimalist artworks for the first time at The Way of Metal in 2008, followed by The Door in 2010 and The Narrow Doors in 2012.
Sense — his 7th exhibition, runs until July 5 at Manzi Art Space, 14 Phan Huy Ích Street, and entrance is free. — VNS