HÀ NỘI — A solo show by Hà Nội-based visual artist Nguyễn Trần Nam will be presented at Manzi from Wednesday.
Entitled Through the Looking Glass, the show is the artist’s third solo exhibition with Manzi, following Undone in 2017 and The Broken Chapters in 2013.
|Nguyễn Trần Nam (left) seen together with other artists Nguyễn Đức Phương (centre), Phạm Khắc Quang. — Photo courtesy of Bảo Khánh
Known as one of Hà Nội’s second wave of contemporary artists, Nam’s work embraces a diverse body of techniques such as paintings, installations and video art.
The exhibition, which is presented in the form of sketches and motion film, questions the relationship between human belief, power and violence, as well as loss and oblivion.
The film being shown, the only moving element of the exhibition, is composed of pure fantasies and unreal chronicles, like an aimless journey through an unknown tunnel with various exits, leaving us disoriented in the shattered imagery and incongruous juxtaposition of faith and violence, a phantasmagoric hybrid between Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno.
The other parts of the exhibition feature left-over elements that were used in constructing the film and its motions. Paper sheets reveal the figures and traces of the drawing process. Bone fragments collected by chance around the walls of Huế Citadel now turn into a poem arranged with the dense areas and white spaces of a written composition or a painting, evoking undeciphered ancient writings, the poem seems to be whispering the lost tales of extinct civilizations.
|'Through the Looking Glass' is the artist’s third solo exhibition with Manzi.
The Katuk plant blends the artist’s own memories of his childhood garden with Andersen’s fairy tales The Rose Elf and Under the Willow Tree. Soil and sickles are found objects from the artist’s hometown, intimately associated with personal loss – soil collected on a field that the artist has never cultivated and sickles that are just blades without handles that have never been used.
The free entrance show, which is part of Manzi’s art programme supported by the Goethe Institute, will be on display until April 9, Tuesday to Sunday, from 12pm – 7pm. Manzi Exhibition Space is at 2 Hàng Bún Alley. — VNS