An exhibition of new work by Truong Cong Tung, the first comprehensive show of his work in almost a decade
Between Fragmentation and Wholeness refers to The Wholeness and the Implicate Order, a book authored by David Bohm, a distinguished physicist in the field of quantum theory. Influential beyond his own discipline, notably in philosophy and art, Bohm was recognized for his application of physics on the rationale of human consciousness and the universe. According to Bohm, the universe has an implicate order in which it enfolds and unfolds to extend into infinite dimensionality. Everything is connected within this unbroken wholeness and any individual element can reveal detailed information about every other element in the universe.
Truong’s exhibition is an analogy to Bohm’s concept. It is his consciousness of the wholeness of his inner self and his surroundings that unfolds fragmented elements of the self, family, region, country and extensively the world. Truong makes sense of the nonsense, connecting the non-aligned, and entwines it through time and space to create a nonlinear wholeness.
Between Fragmentation and Wholeness invites viewers to enter Truong Cong Tung’s multidimensional reality through three main axes in the gallery space: vertically—with the ruptures in urban planning and propagated doctrine; horizontally—with mystical human-altered landscapes in agrarian territories; and diagonally— with a mirage of blazing images extracted from the virtual domain. The bodies of works appear in various mediums from collaged sculptures of natural and manmade objects to video installations and layered drawings in light boxes. All contribute to a powerful language of semiotics—of self-indicated signs which moves beyond the mimesis of nature. Departing from his own personal context of the Central Highlands and Saigon, Truong proposes an understanding of the totality of humanity where our linear modernization unfolds, mimics, adjusts and then disrupts nature— not just the natural world but also the human desire for collectivism and harmony.
Born in Dak Lak, Central Highlands in 1986 into a Vietnamese agricultural family residing among various ethnic minority groups, Truong later moved to Saigon in his late teens. Truong has witnessed the country’s rapid changes in economics, politics and society and the impact on the environment in both rural and urban areas during its modernization process—one that pivots on the morphing of nature in the interests of human desire and demand. His artistic practice is an explication of the absurdity of human reasoning and treatment of our natural surroundings based both on his personal experience and through his research in the fields of science, cosmology and philosophy. Truong’s bodies of works are often multilayered and consist of material manipulations of both natural and human origins. They appear as coherent narratives, yet are tacitly perplexing with their individual parts of maneuvered images, information, fiction and facts.
Truong began his career working with some of Vietnam’s most important not-for-profit spaces supporting critical and experimental practice such as San Art (Ho Chi Minh City), Himiko Visual Salon (Ho Chi Minh City) and Nha San Collective (Hanoi). He is also a member of Art Labor (founded in 2012), a collective working between the visual arts, social and life sciences in order to produce alternative nonformal knowledge via artistic and cultural activities in various public contexts and locales.
Between Fragmentation and Wholeness will be exhibited at Galerie Quynh (118 Nguyen Van Thu, D1; galeriequynh.com) until June 30, 2018.
Images Courtesy of Galerie Quynh and Truong Cong Tung