Abstract painting exhibition ponders natural disaster

November 28, 2021 - 17:42
Artist Nguyễn Ngọc Phương (MA in visual arts) has opened an exhibition Niệm (Opinion) in Hà Nội showcasing big paintings which describe ‘crying mountains’.

HÀ NỘI — Artist Nguyễn Ngọc Phương has opened an exhibition 'Niệm' (Opinion) in Hà Nội, showcasing his lacquer paintings that were inspired by the historic flooding in the central region.

The abstract paintings are large; even the smallest measure 1.24m by 2.44m.

The paintings came to life after Phương visited the central region in 2018 and 2019, after massive floods.

He felt an urge to paint after witnessing the land erosion, the destroyed forests and people’s loss after the disaster.

“After the flooding and heavy rain, water flowing down from the peak caused land erosion. Seeing that scene made me think that mountain is crying,” he said.

A visitor at the exhibition of Nguyễn Ngọc Phương. VNS Photos Thu Hằng

To create these lacquer paintings Phương collected mud to mix with the paint.  He hopes his artworks make people ponder nature and spirituality.

Phương was born in 1975 in Hà Nội. Between 2008 and 2018, he participated in many international exhibitions worldwide. This is the third time he has organised a solo exhibition in Việt Nam.

What makes this exhibition different from previous ones is he is always renovating himself and his art, keeping to his own path and avoiding others. 

He renovated the lacquer art by mixing paint with mud collected from the central region. He only polished part of the artwork, not the entire painting, leaving rough places to illustrate the land surface, forests, mountains and caves.

“In this exhibition, I painted the nature and people of my homeland with all of my consciousness and conscience,” said Phương.

Artist Lý Trực Sơn remarked that the art and personality of Nguyễn Ngọc Phương is of oneness. “He doesn’t try to find a style, he just presents what he experienced, hoped for and felt proud of,” said Sơn.

“To make this painting collection, Phương used black and white only, like yin and yang, two factors that can create endless expression. Contemplating his paintings, I think he united consciousness with intuition from an unconscious mind,” he added.

Painter Yến Năng appreciated that “Niệm” is a successful exhibition because Phương expressed clearly his opinion and intention through art.

“Mud mixed in paint is evidence of the era. His art hints at the feeling of terrace, loss, changes and people’s actions. Photos of the paintings can’t show artistic effect. I think the audience should come and see personally,” said Năng.

The exhibition will run until Tuesday, November 30, at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum, 66 Nguyễn Thái Học Street, Hà Nội. — VNS

Evacuate, one of the paintings displayed at the exhibition.