|Naked truth: A work by Dao Anh Khanh at the exhibition. — Photo thethaovanhoa.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Artist Dao Anh Khanh is displaying over 500 works of art at the first solo exhibition held at the Viet Nam Fine Arts Museum.
The exhibition, entitled Tran, includes surrealist and abstract art, most of them having been created so far this year.
The museum's two main rooms seem not to be large enough to hold the displays, which are as different as the two poles of the earth. The first room is vivid, with strong-coloured paintings making viewers feel a festive atmosphere, while the second room is highlighted with a 1.8m by 3m lacquer painting, entitled Khoi Nguon Su Song (The Root of Life).
This room also draws attention to an installation of a dried tree branch painted white, and a painting displaying only the colour white.
"I love nature. This installation expresses what I see from my bed, which has a branch above it in my house. Each day when I wake up or when I go to bed, I can see it. It makes me feel at ease. It's a natural branch with the leaves cut off and a layer of paint on it," said the artist.
Khanh uses acrylic and combines silver on canvas in composing the nearly 57 large paintings. The other works are made by steel-pen on A4-sized papers.
The artworks are the results of Khanh's endless creativity, featuring the hour-by-hour, day-by-day diverse movements in the artist's mind about his passion of love.
"Most of the paintings were drawn in about two and a half months, during a time I visited my wife and son, who are living abroad. At that time, I just cooked and drew every day," he said during a press conference held before the exhibition's opening ceremony on Friday afternoon.
"The exhibition is my official statement as an artist about sex. Sex and love are different, but they are very close. Why has sex not been recognised as an important role in our lives?" asked Khanh.
The artist names the exhibition Tran, but not because he wanted to mean "naked". It has many more meanings. "Naming for the first solo exhibition was a brainstorm. It is all the things that I have experienced in my life," he said.
The exhibition is not only a milestone in Khanh's 20 year-career. It is a surprise for art lovers in Viet Nam because he is well-known for being one of the leading performance artists. He has held exhibitions in some 15 countries throughout the world, including the US, the UK, France, Switzerland, Spain and China.
His artworks have been featured on international television networks and magazines, such as The BBC, Discovery Channel, NHK and The New York Times. He was also promoted by Asia Art magazine as the most active artist, while The World Magazine voted him Man of the Year in 2010, as part of 1000th anniversary of Ha Noi capital city.
His annual art show, Dao Xuan (Spring Arrival), which has been held following the Lunar New Year since 2003, has become one of the most anticipated art events for both his colleagues and art lovers.
At last year's Dao Xuan, Khanh introduced the public to his upcoming project, entitled Gam Troi Valley in the northern province of Hoa Binh, which will be the largest of his career. The project will feature large-scale sculptures and installations.
The Tran exhibition will promote his Gam Troi Valley project.
There will be music performed by American and Vietnamese artists at the closing ceremony on Thursday at 3pm at the Viet Nam Fine Arts Museum, 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street. — VNS