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Artist changes pace with the seasons

Update: October, 24/2017 - 07:00
On show: This painting, called Plumeria, is lacquer on wood. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Lacquer paintings depicting nature, plants and flowers throughout the year are on display at an exhibition by artist Nguyễn Trần Cường.

Titled Invisible Seasons, the exhibition opened yesterday at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum.

Cường showcased 16 lacquer paintings made during the past two years. They show the changes in plants during the four seasons.

“I feel clearly about life, about doing my work and finding a way to transform my feelings of the changes in endless time and dimension,” he said.

Saying his own work was a challenge, Cường added that living in the suburbs for years had given him an opportunity to feel close to nature and especially to feel the changes of time and space through summer, autumn, winter and spring.

“The changes from this season to another can sometimes be very clear, but also vague; familiar, but also strange and fresh,” he said.

“Life takes us in its stormy wheel until we suddenly see the blooming of cotton tree flowers (Bombax ceiba) when March comes or the peach and apricot flowers that spring brings.

“Nowadays, people are so busy and rush around, without noticing the beauty of seasons. They miss the signs. They don’t realise the passing of time. My work uses nature’s cues to act as visual reminders to appreciate the treasures that nature gives us.”

Artist and critic Trịnh Tuân, formerly Cường’s lecturer, said: “He doesn’t produce a large amount of artworks, but is full of aesthetic spirit which is hard to find," said Tuân. “With any subject, he adds his significant aesthetics sense which chills the audience with emotional and profound perception.

“This man and his artwork is not a star on the red carpet, but can be found by art lovers in the corner of a bar, or on a bench inthe park."

Cường has exhibited in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Japan and Britain.

Kim Lam, director of the Affinity Art Gallery in Hong Kong said one of her favourites was Plumeria, or frangipani, with egg-shelled white petals contrasting with a deep turquoise background.

“A strategically placed vertical band of gold leaves lends a contemporary note and lights up the work like an early morning beam of sunlight, a timely reminder of the imminent arrival of summer,” she said.

“Cường encapsulates nature in his own poetic way and modernistic sensibilities, celebrating the mood and stillness of a fleeting moment. We would like to congratulate him for this collection and trust that as we look at his paintings, we will remember to rediscover the beauty of seasonality.

The exhibition will run until October 28 at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum, 66 Nguyễn Thái Học Street, Hà Nội.

The exhibition is sponsored by Art in the Forest, the art supporting fund of Flamingo Group. — VNS

Blooming: A painting titled Spring in the Forest, lacquer on wood. — VNS Photo Minh Thu

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