Art enthusiasts get taste of Viet Nam, Australia

May 22, 2006


by Thu Ngoc

Something’s fishy: This clay work entitled Fish by Nhung is among the ceramic pieces in his shop.

Art enthusiasts in HCM City will get the chance to com-pare and contrast the creativity of two Asian nations through the works of Vietnamese and Australian artists, on display in city’s art district this month.

At Nhung Ceramics on 43 Dong Khoi Street, young sculptor Vu Huu Nhung displays 100 ceramic works in different shapes and sizes, using bright colours like red and yellow.

Highlight works in his display include Sinh Vien (Students), Vu Quy (The bride goes to her husband’s house) and Hoi Lang (Village festival).

Sinh Vien, a series of three sculptures featuring human faces represent Nhung’s perspective on young people living in modern society. Through the works, Nhung displays a new style of creation while at the same time making use of traditional materials.

"Through my art, I want to introduce my village’s traditional ceramics to urban art lovers, particularly youngsters who often find inspiration through installation and performance," said Nhung.

Born in Bac Ninh Province’s Phu Lang Village, famous for its traditional ceramics, Nhung understands that it is the young generation’s duty to act as envoys to carry on traditional village art.

To improve his skills in making ceramics, Nhung spent four years studying sculpture in the Ha Noi Industrial Fine Arts College.

"Without knowledge and skills, I couldn’t bring my village’s traditional art to the world," said the 31-year-old artist.

Nhung’s sculptures go for VND1 million (US$60) to VND20 million ($1,220) per item, with his running to May 19.

Contemporary installations

Along with Nhung, four Australian artists are introducing visual art at Mai’s Gallery on 16 Nguyen Hue Street, as an expression of their deep feeling for Viet Nam and its people.

Entitled Procession, their works of bamboo, paper and cloth blend to create a medium of visual art: images and objects.

"Through my works, viewers can learn more about war and its consequences," said Glen Clarke, a professional sculptor who graduated in art and design from Melbourne’s Monash University.

Clarke has on display 20 photographs, which focus on the fallout from bombs, mines and craters in Quang Tri Province, one of the country’s regions which suffered the most during the American war.

Clarke said his works "combine fact and feeling," and for him, the best works educate people.

Gail Joy Kenning has an appreciation for local fashion Viet Nam’s beautiful women in their traditional ao dai tunic dresses and non (conical) hats.

Her works utilise cloth and computers, and provide visitors with basic knowledge on how to use computers in creating new fashion designs.

"I feel Viet Nam in my own way. The country and its culture make me to discover," said Gail, who has visited Asia, particularly Viet Nam, many times.

Sue Pedley used paper, bamboo, bags and saxophones to create simple works but different in detail and meaning. She said she called her show, The Sound of Dark.

Botina Ely has 24 photographs on display, featuring the discovery of the world and its people. Botina doubles as a fine arts lecturer of the Sydney University, and her work promises a unique perspective on the world today.

The shows run until May 21, from 8am to 9pm every day. — VNS


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