Friday, February 26 2021

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The colorful return of a highland child

Update: January, 13/2021 - 07:52

HÀ NỘI - Artist Thu Trần has opened an exhibition featuring a huge hexagon made of steel covered with colourful fabric illuminated by lights all over a hill, creating a vision of splendour in Sơn La Province.

The solo in-situ installation entitled Coming Back opened on January 9 in PAM Hill, in Chiềng Đi Village, Vân Hồ Commune, Vân Hồ District, Sơn La.

The hexagon signifies a loom with the organza the fabrics spilling out of it, adding beautiful strips of colour to the green and foggy hill. At night, multicoloured lights illuminate the sheer fabrics, adding even more dimensions to the artwork.

SPECTACULAR: A close-up of the Coming Back on-site installation illuminated at night. Photo from the Facebook of Kieu Minh Tuan

The artist, originally from Thanh Oai District of Hà Nội, has spent the majority of her life in the mountainous northwest. 

The title Coming Back refers to her return to herself, her childhood and Mother Nature and she said the abstract art piece aims to blend in with nature. 

The idea for this installation came from her encounter with Phó An My, a great pianist who recently relocated to Sơn La, where Thu Trần spent her formative years. It was Phó An My and her attempt to breathe new life into traditional folk music that inspired Thu Trần to return home and to create contemporary art. 

While this isn’t her first exhibition using organza or the theme of weaving, Thu Trần felt especially connected to Phó An My and decided to place her artwork at PAM Hill Homestay. 

Her mentor, Lý Trực Sơn, commented at the opening ceremony on Saturday night: “Thu Trần is an emotional, yet strong and stouthearted woman. To create art depends on a lot of emotions, but to install it like she did requires grit to complete the artwork.” 

Thu Trần said: “The installation process took 11 challenging days to complete. Standing on steep hilltops, I stumbled and hurt myself countless times. The wind and rain sometimes blew the fabric away, requiring restoration. Coming Back posed great threats to my physical health.”

The patterns on the organza were inspired by local Mông and Thái ethnic motifs, with additional inspiration from groundwater flows, streams, springs and clouds. VNS

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