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Publié le par sandrine

Premiere review de l'expo a Hanoi sur le site Hanoigrapevine:

"KVT looks at the work chosen to open Hanoi’s newest gallery, picks his favourites. While considering the exhibition overall to be “safe and culturally acceptable”, he does find some out-standing work. But he chooses to reserve his final marks on the gallery until he sees the next exhibition.

The much anticipated opening of the Bui Gallery in Ngo Van So went off with a bang, especially when a chunk of the newly renovated ceiling fell down. But you knew it was a high class establishment when you saw how the mini disaster became just a minor irritant and everything carried on as though nothing had happened. Splashes of colored punch and pastel cocktail were used to toast the grand opening inside its high street wall that was being spray painted bright Bui pink.

And what a beautiful transformation of the old French Villa… really stunning. Make sure you see it during the day when natural light streams in and makes the art look as sparkling as it really can be. The gardens are also elegant and I can’t wait to see an installation there.

Disregarding the philosophy in the very handsome catalogue and publicity promos, as insightful as it is, let’s look at the work.

Phi Phi Oanh’s post modern floor tile lacquer work was the best work on show and I certainly hope that she is given a whole gallery re-exhibition of those boxes we saw in the Art Museum a couple of years ago….and of course any new work she has. I can’t help but compare her with Yoko Ono and I think she could be even better.

The work on show had to be safe and culturally acceptable and thus no boundaries were pushed. The Vietnamese artists in the Bui stable are amongst the best. Ha Manh Thanh’s mixed media pieces are outstanding and would be at home in any international art museum. They are always sitting on the edge of in your face social comment and one day they will explode into firework brilliance. The same could be said of Biu Cong Khanh and I hope his remote, introverted upstairs nude is an anticipation of a performance work by him…perhaps a reprise of Dollar Man.

Vuong Thao’s work has been lauded at home and abroad and even though all his work on show has been seen before it grips you with its freshness. You should see his amber sculptures when the sun hits them. I was really pleased to see an example of his early bum paintings on the wall. He’s a finely talented man and the gallery is lucky to have snapped him up.

Upstairs the photographs by Na Son with their splurts of acid color were arresting and a good foil for the small, dreamy, sepia, almost 3D images of Mathew Dakin’s alleys. These are probably the most spellbinding, unpeopled urban photos I’ve seen on a Vietnamese theme. I found his large sepia tinted portraits in the adjoining room enigmatic but they didn’t really engage me. My Vietnamese photography colleagues, however, were captivated.

Bertrand Peret’s large infant canvasses were certainly eye catching but what gave them appeal was the Mario Mertz style neon light addendum….and perhaps they made me stand and look for a long time because I’m addicted to the international artists who can effortlessly make good statements with fluorescents, neons and led lights.

And it was the wall drawing with projected light that made me put Sandrine Liouquet’s work into second place out of all the exhibits. It’s the twitching fingers of the simple figure outline that make you appreciate the naughty teasing of her drawings in the downstairs peach pink annex. They are pure delight, feminine but full of the nightmares we can all associate with. They’re like a box of exotic chocolates, very more-ish but you don’t really know what’s going to be in the centre of each perfectly packaged morsel.

The mixed media drawings of Arno Baude were, to me, a bit too much like the earnest efforts of an art school graduate’s final exhibition but I could see them, and hope I can soon, as huge wall drawings that will fill every wall in the gallery. Then they’d be to die for.

Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into Bui Quang Khiem’s caligraphic work though a lot of Western women friends were left drooling

At the beginning and end of it all Betty Bui asks “Who Do You Think We Are”. Well Betty, I think you and it are gorgeous and have to be congratulated. The gallery is top of the pops and your curating top notch. I can hardly wait for the next exhibition. I’ll sensibly leave my final mark out of ten till then."

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