“Sài Gòn, cây xanh và đổ nát” (Sài Gòn, Trees and Destruction), a gouache sketch by Freddy Nadolny Poustochkine. Photo courtesy of the organiser
HCM CITY – “Nhựa Cây Vẫn Chảy” (The Sap Still Runs), an art exhibition featuring works by Freddy Nadolny Poustochkine of France and Trương Công Tùng of Việt Nam, will open at Sàn Arts in HCM City on April 24.
The exhibition, co-organised by the gallery and the French Institute in Việt Nam, takes its conceptual inspiration from a picture of a felled pine tree in the Cévennes of France, an incident Poustochkine encountered by chance.
When he learned about the devalued rubber trees in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Gia Lai from Tùng, both artists wanted to bring these fallen tree’s sap which bore the spirit of the trees into art works.
Comic book artist Poustochkin will present a collection of gouache sketchbook and video diaries capturing his memories of landscapes in urban areas and nameless faces that he saw in Sài Gòn and Buôn Ma Thuột over the years.
His work is the result of a two-month regency month-long residency programme at Villa Saigon 2019 initiated by the French Institute.
Poustochkin, a graduate of École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (School of Decorative Arts) in Strasbourg, France, has been fascinated by Viet Nam since 2002.
In 2011, he was awarded a writing grant from the Centre National du Livre to spend a year in Việt Nam and create sketchbooks, graphics and videos about his experiments in the country.
He has released graphic novels including Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (2017), The Poisoned Hill (2010), and The Flesh of Apples (2006).
He has also collaborated with Vietnamese filmmaker Trương Minh Quý on films such as Someone in the Forest (2013) and City of Mirrors (2016), and French filmmaker Christelle Lheureux on Water Buffalo (2007) and The Earth Leans (2015).
Tùng, a native of the Central Highlands of Đắk Lắk, will introduce an installation using a seared tree root, a string of wooden praying beads, and an image of insects on a wing made of steel.
The work depicts an ethnographic text on indigenous beliefs from the Central Highlands, and images of the fragile highland forests.
Born in 1986, Tùng graduated from the HCM City Fine Arts University in 2010 with a degree in lacquer painting.
His works are a combination of video, installation, painting and found objects that reflect his personal thoughts, social changes and the issue of race, religion and politics.
His works had been shown at Sàn Art and Nhà Sàn Collective in Việt Nam, Seoul Mediacity Biennale and Seoul Museum of Art in Korea and Koganecho Bazaar in Yokohama, Japan.
The exhibition will close on May 21. The gallery is at Millennium Masteri, B6.16 and B6.17, 132 Bến Vân Đồn Street in District 4. — VNS