Fading Memories

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

Nguyen Minh Nam’s latest collection Fading Memories is a further stanza in his on-going paean to the inevitable losses suffered by traditional Vietnamese culture in the country’s headlong rush into the modern world. While there is clearly regret at the fading of culture-defining traditions, Nam’s paintings also portray an intriguing future-present where a new class of liberated women are freed from antiquated notions of their chastity and roles as mere appendages of men.

nguyen-minh-nam_before-the-wedding_truoc-ngay-cuoi_2016_oil-on-canvas_160-x-120-cm

The women in many of Nam’s work are often shown partially naked and in semi-lewd or provocative positions. They smoke and drink and exhibit great ambivalence to social conventions such as traditional marriage ceremonies from which they are often portrayed as fleeing. Their older sisters from an earlier time are depicted as serving them—brushing their hair, taking their photo, or simply watching silently over them—leading the viewer to infer a reference to the sacrifices made by previous generations of Vietnamese women to help create a world where succeeding generations can live fee of societal constraints.

nguyen-minh-nam_day-after-day_ngay-lai-ngay_2016_oil-on-canvas_160-x-120-cm

Of his work Nam says: “In the process of living the life of a young artist in Vietnamese society during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, I have closely observed the cultural lifestyle of the country’s youth. I have also studied and contrasted the present with the culture and lifestyle of previous generations. The majority of my works reference cultural issues. In my opinion, there is a great clash between traditional and modern Vietnamese culture which has yet to reach a place of balance. In my paintings, some of the characters are drawn in black and white. They belong to the earlier generation which was very simple, rustic, unobtrusive and straight-forward. They may have been farmers or simple city folk, but they had very rich spiritual lives.”

nguyen-minh-nam_-two-sisters_2016_oil-on-canvas_160-x-120cm-oil-on-canvas-2016

Adding: “The young ladies portrayed in my paintings carry the spirit of contemporary Vietnamese life which can be seen as being in stark opposition to the more modest conventions of the previous generation. I do not wish to take a stand between these two conflicting cultural paradigms, however, because both have their pros and cons.”

Nguyen Minh Nam is a graduate of the Vietnam Fine Arts University. This is his first solo exhibition at Craig Thomas Gallery (27i Tran Nhat Duat, D1), until November 15, 2016.

Share this story, choose your platform!

About the author:

Leave a Comment

What Are Fine Art Frames?

Fine art frames are much more than mere decorative edges for artwork. They serve as a bridge between the art and its surrounding environment, enhancing the visual appeal and ensuring the longevity of the piece. Fine art frames are much more than mere decorative edges for artwork. They serve as a bridge between the art

Read More »

Famous Female Artists: Breaking Barriers in a Male-Dominated Art World

The world of fine art has been historically dominated by male artists, with their names etched into the annals of art history. However, throughout the centuries, a remarkable group of female artists has risen to prominence, defying societal norms and breaking down the barriers that once confined them to the shadows of their male counterparts.

Read More »

5 Examples of Wrongful Termination Explained

Being fired from work can be a traumatic experience for anyone. However, if it has been done illegally it’s even more overwhelming. There are many instances where letting go of an employee is completely valid. But, if you have been unfairly dismissed without a reason – legal action can be taken.  To help you understand

Read More »

Where to Buy Fairy Lights: Illuminate Your Space with Enchantment?

Fairy lights possess an otherworldly appeal that instantly transforms any space into an enchanting landscape. Their delicate glow and twinkling brilliance add a magical and warm ambience that instantly transports us away. As per experts like Fusion Lighting Australia they are Perfect for creating cozy indoor ambience or adding flair to outdoor areas, fairy lights

Read More »

Should I Wear A Pocket Watch?

Pocket watches may seem out of place in today’s fast-paced world of wristwatches and smartphones, yet they retain an elegant allure that dates back centuries. You might not have a pocket watch vintage collection, yet you might find yourself drawn to pocket watches as an intriguing timepiece with timeless appeal, perhaps wondering whether to incorporate

Read More »