An experimental exhibition of lacquer on glass at Manzi Alternative Artspace, Hanoi
December 16, 2016–January 16, 2017
Opening: December 16, 6:30pm
Manzi, 14 Phan Huy Ich, Hanoi
Brief Artist statement:
Scrying is the act of divination through focused gazing into a glass or reflective medium. In this exhibit magnifying glasses are used to view the lacquer skins. The title, Scry, suggests the character of the images presented as embracing of ambiguity and visual magic and a desperate grasping at what the future beholds.
For this series of paintings, the dimension of the skins emulate that of a touch tablet screen. Using this visual trope, I loosely reflect on contemporary imagery or images that new technologies such as drones, digital, satellite, nano can visualize. They too are a kind of looking glass through which we can come to grasp the future.
The magnifying glasses augment the illusion of allurement in lacquer painting while simultaneously giving away its means of construction. The skins are back lit and front lit to optimize the pure qualities of the lacquer painting one would not be able to see on another surface.
Phi Phi Oanh,
Hanoi, November 2016
Parallel Slogan Paintings
A smaller sculptural work titled Armour Piece
About the work "The Great Wall"
Bricks stacks line roads and villages waiting to be used in the construction frenzy overtaking Vietnam. The Great Wall contemplates the transformation of earth into a human dwelling, and how, piece by piece, mountains and fertile land transform into cities.
Relic-like, the brick stacks evoke the "glory" of ownership and the human desire to demarcate boundaries, possess territory, and exploit resources for consumption. This power left unbridled upon the fragile relationship with our surroundings is the ultimate cause of our global economic and environmental crisis.
The behavior of the son ta, a natural resinous substance, parallels this idea of material transformation. Although used here to represent brick, lacquer embodies the tactility of any solid matter- texture, weight, mass-- like no other painting medium.
The Great Wall examines this under-explored attribute of son ta lacquer.
Vietnamese natural lacquer (son ta) on wood with silver, aluminum and pigments
190 x 240 x 8 cm
Four panel painting (190 x 60 cm each)