Exhibition presents latest work by contemporary lacquer painter

July 08, 2021 - 09:00

An exhibition featuring the latest lacquer works by Hà Nội-based artist Nguyễn Tuấn Cường will open its door to the public from Friday at Manzi Art Space in Ha Noi.


A still life painting by Nguyễn Tuấn Cường will be presented at the one-month exhibition 'Fragments of Nostalgia'. Photo courtesy of the artist

HÀ NỘI —  An exhibition featuring the latest lacquer works by Hà Nội-based artist Nguyễn Tuấn Cường will open its door to the public from Friday at Manzi Art Space in Hà Nội.

The exhibition, entitled Ôm Khoanh Trời Cũ or Fragments of Nostalgia, will showcase the artist’s signature series of still life paintings.

According to Manzi, overstepping its own boundaries of the familiar serenity and stillness, Cường has gone further than the subtleties in the technique or the poetry in the representation. Fragments of Nostalgia aims to uncover the interrelationships in space and time and reflects on presences and absences, and shapes and shadows in liminal space.  

In Nguyễn Tuấn Cường’s paintings, viewers are inside an intimate and dusky interior, according to the Vietnamese-American artist Oanh Phi Phi. — Photos courtesy of Manzi Art Space.

Commenting on his paintings, the Vietnamese-American artist Oanh Phi Phi, a researcher on lacquer painting, wrote: “In Nguyễn Tuấn Cường’s paintings, we are inside an intimate and dusky interior.

"Forms seem to come into view but stay buried under the penumbra of sơn ta [sap of the Rhus succedanea tree that used to create Vietnamese lacquer].

"The layers of then and cánh gián [black and brown-cockroach colour] lacquer become deep space while small still life objects are merely there to delineate the empty space within them and anchor our gaze.

"These domestic bowls, jars, and lanterns transport us to a time in the past of oral traditions."

Born in 1978 in Hà Nội, Cường graduated from the Hà Nội University of Industrial Fine Arts in 2001 and is known as one of the most admired contemporary lacquer painters in the country today.

His poetic still life lacquer paintings tell viewers of the subtle relationship between the object and its surrounding space, yet also depict an obscure reflection of time flows.

Cường currently works as a lecturer at the Art & Craft College of Việt Nam where he plays an important role in the college’s lacquer training programme.

He has participated in a wide range of exhibitions in Việt Nam and abroad in France, the UK, Taiwan, China and Switzerland.

The free entrance exhibition Fragments of Nostalgia will open to the public for one month until August 9. Manzi Art Space is at 14 Phan Huy Ích Street, Ba Đình District. In light of the current COVID-19 developments, visitors are required to wear a mask when visiting and use the hand sanitiser provided at the entrance.

The exhibition is part of Manzi’s art programme supported by the Goethe Institute. — VNS