Rise and shine: Nguyễn Thế Hùng, Morning in the Mountains 3, 2016, Acrylic, gold leaf, “cockroach” lacquer paint. — VNS Photo courtesy of Craig Thomas Gallery
HCM CITY — Twelve mixed media paintings by Hà Nội-based artist Nguyễn Thế Hùng that will be on show at the Craig Thomas Gallery in HCM City from March 25 to April 21 along with a fascinating story about how the Dao and Mông ethnic groups live.
“The idea for this collection was born from a volunteer project to teach drawing to children in the Hà Giang Highlands that I participated in two years ago,” Hùng said.
“While teaching the kids some basic skills, we teachers in turn learnt from them a pure way of seeing things that we had possibly forgotten.
“Their individual portraits, marked by a mixture of cheerfulness and shyness, made a strong impression on me. I observed with fascination and delight the way that they live in deep communication with the natural world that surrounds them.”
The 12 works in Hùng’s Morning in the Mountains collection are an experimental combination of various styles including action painting, dó paper, traditional lacquer painting, and vibrant coloration from contemporary art.
The artist used a mix of materials including acrylics, Chinese ink, gold leaf, “cockroach” lacquer paint, and photographs for the series.
“I was confused by the intense emotions the people of the mountains engendered in me. They live their lives immersed in nature. The way that they eat and drink is etched in my mind. Their charming way of speaking and unique colloquialisms echo through my thoughts; like happy musical notes.
“I felt that only an action painting style could fully express the joy, excitement and vitality of these special people.”
Hùng graduated from the Hà Nội Fine Arts University in 2009. Morning in the Mountains is his fourth solo exhibition at the Craig Thomas Gallery. — VNS