Artists pay homage to feminine beauty

Feminine forms: Some works by late artist Vu Dan Tan, who is considered a pioneer of various art forms of the pre-doi moi (renovation) period [pre-1986].

HCM CITY (VNS) – The beauty of women will be explored at a joint visual art exhibition at Ho Chi Minh City’s Fine Arts Museum between January 11 and 24.

Titled Ve Nu O Viet Nam (Venus in Viet Nam): Vu Dan Tan and Nguyen Nghia Cuong, the exhibition features installations and sculptures by late popular artist Vu Dan Tan (1946-2009) and Nguyen Nghia Cuong, (born in 1973).

The exhibition compares and contrasts perspectives of feminine beauty as it relates to both gender and sexiness, providing an opportunity to look back at local art that appeared during two important events in the 20th and 21st centuries.

In September 2012, an exhibition titled Venus in Viet Nam was organised in Ha Noi, where for the first time, many of Tan’s works were introduced to the public.

At the time, delicate suitcases made of cardboard and miniature female figurines placed inside cigarette boxes were a special treat for the public.

During the 1980s, Tan was among the first to exhibit new styles of art in Viet Nam, showcasing multimedia works and various other art forms, using materials available for everyday use – items that had never been used for making art before.

He is considered a pioneer of various art forms of the pre-doi moi (renovation) period [pre-1986].

Some of his sculptures were displayed at the Sculpture Triennial in Fellbach, Germany, in 2001 and at other exhibitions in Japan, the Netherlands, and Singapore.

Nguyen Nghia Cuong, who graduated from the Viet Nam Fine Arts College, is known for his ironic view of contemporary realism.

In his latest work, titled Beauty High Quality, he explores the common features of popular culture and advertising.

The upcoming exhibition in HCM City will focus on the beauty of women in the social, cultural and political context of Vietnamese society at the end of the 20th and in the early 21st century.

The organiser, the Goethe Institute in HCM City, will host a talk show with artist Cuong and two curators: Natalia Kraevskaia and Iola Lenzi.

Lenzi will discuss Tan’s women and the symbols of beauty in his art, while Kraevskaia will talk to Cuong about his works and ideology. The talk show, which is to be conducted in Vietnamese and in English, will air at 3.30pm on Sunday at the museum on 97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1. — VNS

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