Born and raised in Tuyen Quang Province in the north-eastern corner of Vietnam, much of Nguyen The Hung’s work is influenced by the cultures and traditions of the many ethnic minority groups that populate the mountains of his native region. Of his inspiration for the Morning in the Mountains series Hung says, “The idea for this collection was born from a volunteer project to teach drawing to children in the Ha Giang Highlands that I participated in two years ago. While teaching the kids some basic skills, we teachers in turn learned from them a pure way of seeing things that we had possibly forgotten.
“In this series I have concentrated on observing and depicting the Dao and H’mông ethnic groups. Their individual portraits, marked by a mixture of cheerfulness and shyness, made a strong impression on me. I observed with fascination and delight the way that they live in deep communication with the natural world that surrounds them. “
Perhaps best known for his use of do paper in many of his earlier collections, the twelve works of Hung’s Morning in the Mountains collection are an experimental combination of various styles including action painting, do paper, traditional lacquer painting, and vibrant coloration from contemporary art. The artist used a mix of materials including acrylics, Chinese ink, gold leaf, “cockroach” lacquer paint, and photographs for the series. Hung took special care in reproducing each pattern and accessory on the traditional clothing of the ethnic groups depicted.
Hung says, “I was confused with by the intense emotions the people of the mountains engendered in me. They live their lives immersed in nature. The way that they eat and drink is etched in my mind. Their charming way of speaking and unique colloquialisms echo through my thoughts; like happy musical notes. I felt that only an action painting style could fully express the joy, excitement and vitality of these special people.”
With his latest work, Hung once again displays the unique and appealing aesthetic first demonstrated in his well-received 2011 collection And Flowers Showered. Most impressively, he evidences his determination to explore new materials, subjects and modes of expression as part of his continuing evolution as a visual artist.
Nguyen The Hung graduated from the Hanoi Fine Arts University in 2009. Morning in the Mountains is his fourth solo exhibition with Craig Thomas Gallery. In addition to his work as a visual artist, Hung has also has participated in various different projects in music, dance, theatre and fashion. The artist lives and works in Hanoi.
Exhibition Dates: 25 March – 21 April 2016
Location: Craig Thomas Gallery
165 Calmette Street
Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Contacts: Craig Thomas – 0903888431