Survival

A solo exhibition of paintings by Hanoi-based artist Nguyen Minh Nam

With his latest collection Survival, Nguyen Minh Nam continues to explore and develop his unique esthetic as he delves deeper into his particular fascinations, which include the female form, traditional architecture and, most prominently, the continuing evolution of the roles and mores of women in Vietnamese society and in its collective imagination. In choosing the title for the exhibition Nam says, “I mean to speak of things that were as well as things that remain, their influence and their very souls.”

Nam does not use a stereotypical cliché of a woman who is nothing more than an object. These women are thoughtful, observant, vulnerable, anxious, sad but also self-confident, provocative and seductive. The face as a store of emotions leaves Nam’s women more than mere seductresses or lovers. His women are emancipated beings who demand as a projection surface the dissociation with our own emotions as well as with present time.

Nguyen Minh Nam_Su Ton Tai Cua Nam Phuong Hoang Hau_Empress Nam Phuong_2018_Oil on canvas_160 x 120 cm

Nguyen Minh Nam reflects on cultural processes closely related to the intense observation of the course of his time. Vietnam has undergone amazing economic transformation in the last twenty years, manifesting itself in booming cities and burgeoning populations. A new generation has grown up without war, benefiting
from the economic boom and driving it forward. The structural changes in Vietnam have transformed the worldview of the country’s people and led to an expanding generational gap.

“Traditional and modern culture collide and I want to bundle exactly this dualism in my oeuvre,” says Nam. At the same time the artist emphasizes very consciously that he does not want to criticize the past or the present, but wants to show the disruption that the younger generation feels as well. In addition to the artistic confrontation with cultural change in society, “there is also the message of not forgetting the old traditions and appreciating their generation with their views and ideas, even if the world is turning faster and faster.”

Nam’s compositions create an impressive picture of a changing society. His painting technique is virtuoso and in the true sense of the word not only frees layers of paint but also layers of time. His oeuvre is a wealth of allusions and juxtapositions that inspire to think further about its changing processes and to not forget the Vietnamese cultural assets and traditions.

Survival is showing at Craig Thomas Gallery (279(i) Tran Nhat Duat, D1) until December 10, 2018.

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

#Photojournalism

From climate change protests to democratic uprisings against biased and violent authorities, it is clear that 2019 has been a pivotal year for citizens all over the world. It’s in this context that mobile app Agora launched its first#Photojournalism photo competition, with the objective to give photographers a way to shed light on specific issues. 

Read More »

Soweto

Soweto, deriving from South Western Township, was established in the 1930s to remove native people from the capital cities and neighboring areas. The first permanent housing erected in this area were the mining houses: long dormitory-style buildings where only men and mineworkers could live. The nearby goldmines are all but exhausted but the large yellow

Read More »

The Walking Machine

Local metalworker Ly Minh Tien builds a spider-like walking machine to raise awareness on environmental issues A riddle: what has 12 legs, six on either side, and is made of metal? It’s not a metal spider, but that guess isn’t far off. A fitting comparison: “You know the movie Wild Wild West?”, its builder and

Read More »

Education Matters

Education is one of the most powerful tools for fighting poverty and inequality, as well as laying the foundations for solid economic growth. The more we understand the world we live in and the more information we get about other cultures and histories, the greater our chances of understanding points of view that might differ

Read More »

A Hard Day’s Work

JUANCARLOS DURAN SOLORZANO (www.facebook.com/Juancaphotography) is a professional photographer with more than six years of experience in the industry. His latest solo exhibition was a collaboration between his native Mexico and Vietnam titled “Mexico – Vietnam Cross borders”. It was showcased in the Ethnology Museum and in Deutsches Haus in Ho Chi Minh City. He also

Read More »

Global Families

Photographers from all corners of the planet submitted their best family shots to the #Family2019 Contest organized by Agora images. Agora is a free-to-use social app and global photography community with more than 3.5 million users from 193 countries. Every week, Agora users participate in international photography contests around one of the 52 annual hashtags

Read More »