|Poster of the 'Kiến' exhibition to take place from August 22 to 28 at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum. Photos courtesy of the artist
HÀ NỘI — A sculpture exhibition by young artist Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, also called Hùng Kiến, opens today in the capital city using the image of ants to feature human life and characters.
The solo exhibition themed Kiến (Ants) is a unique event in which Hùng, one of the Vietnamese young sculptors, introduces his very special works through modern installations with surrealism to reflect the natural life of ants.
About 30 works will be displayed at the exhibition. They are selected from Hùng's hundreds of works created in the past nine years during his study and after graduation from the Sculpture Faculty of the University of Fine Arts in Hà Nội.
Born in 1987 in the northern province of Phú Thọ, Hùng has a deep impression of metal - the material he used to create the works for this exhibition.
He thinks "metal is a miraculous invention of human society and since the discovery of metal, many great civilisations have appeared in the world."
Hùng said: "Metal brings about the creation of machines, architecture, and modern industry. It has brought mankind from ignorance to civilisation."
|Sculptor Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng.
For many years, the sculptor has studied the behaviour of ants and has noticed the social characteristics of this small insect.
In this exhibition, he arranges his ant colonies with both queens and worker ants to express the social relations of ants as complex as the society of humans.
Ants in his works look really strong evoking masculinity in the jet-black colour of metal. They first look a little bit cold and unemotional in appearance but by admiring them more, viewers will find they are hiding strength and sacrifice.
"I researched and found pictures of ants, they have a very special body image, observing us, there are many interesting things about living customs, making me curious to exploit the image for inclusion in art. The image of an ant makes people think of the human condition in the midst of modern life with thousands of burdens on their shoulders but always trying to overcome them."
|One of Hùng's works displayed at the exhibition that opens today in Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum.
Hùng said through his works about ants and their well-organised society, he wanted to convey a very simple and clear message that discipline should always be highlighted in human society. He has also considered it a key factor in his life.
Bùi Hoàng Dương, a young painter in Hà Nội, commended Hùng's technique and method of iron welding saying it is very sophisticated and needs special artistic skills including extreme care and enthusiasm.
Dương said Hùng Kiến is one of the young sculptors in both age and art career so his works are also very "young".
"Young here means he is young in thought. Hùng likes to explore and work hard during his artistic creation. He is racing against time to get more and more experiences in life. He is passionate about metal materials, maybe because he thinks it reflects human characters that are 'hard and persistent'," Dương said.
Hùng loves metal and his passion is not only focusing on the material but also on its "soul" so he uses metal and the image of ants to express his reflection on human characteristics and society.
He said he wanted to use the visual language of sculpture to convey his thoughts and feelings, exalting the beauty of metal as well as praising the enduring labour process of people.
His exhibition opens from 17:30 today until Sunday at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum, 66 Nguyễn Thái Học Street, Hà Nội. VNS
|Sculptor Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng or Hùng Kiến uses metal and the image of ants to represent human labour and characters.