Vietnam Time

6/21/2019 11:38:59 AM

The Lacquer Story: Dialogue “Cửa Võng”

The Lacquer Story: Dialogue “Cửa Võng” will feature work by eight artists: Nguyen Truong Linh, Nguyen Hong Phuong, Nguyen Doan Ninh, Nguyen Tuan Cuong, Chu Viet Cuong, Vu Duc Trung, Cong Quoc Thang, Pham Hoai Anh.

The exhibition opens Saturday, June 22 and runs until July 31 at Cuci Art Studio (located on the second Floor, 25 Hang Bun, Ba Dinh, Hanoi). Fifteen art works will be showcased consisting of twelve paintings, two installations, and one performance. The performance will take place during the reception at 6 pm on June 22.

Presenting both lacquer artists and contemporary multimedia artists, this exhibition illuminates the lacquer arts historical aesthetic through time by creating a dialogue between the medium of lacquer and “Cua Vong”. This exhibition challenges each artist to push the limits of the material and also to honor their own visual language. Through this, the story of each artist is conveyed to the audience.

The Lacquer Story: Dialogue “Cửa Võng” is the first exhibition where multimedia artists create using the lacquer medium, and by doing so, brings to the public a fresh new perspective of the possibilities and potential of using the traditional material of lacquer.

Widely known – especially in the North – “Cua Vong” is a special interior décor in sacred worship spaces. Cua Vong is a door frame that is divided into three parts. The right and left ones are attached to the pair of columns, close to the pair of parallel phrases or text of the horizontal lacquered board/panel above. This door frame is considered a symbol, separating the entire sacred worship area from the normal life outside where people worship, show respect and express their prayers and desires to the Gods.

Along with the altar, the ornaments, the sacred atmosphere and animal statues, ‘Cua Vong’ is an essential part of the whole sacred space of a family, a whole family line and a village. In the worship space, ‘Cua Vong’ is not only a separation but also a connection between the spiritual world and the earthly life. As a result, artisans put a lot of enthusiasm and devotion into every stage of their work to create each ‘Cua Vong’, from deciding on the content, to sculpting using delicate techniques, and especially to the technique of lighting and illumination.

“Cua Vong” is a special name because it is believed to be the door connecting real/earthly life and the spiritual world, between the past and present, and the connection between the soul of craftsmen and artists. The exhibition gives each of the artists the opportunity to have a conversation with ‘Cua Vong’ in their own way, to connect with the public by stepping through that door, and to inherit and touch the true values of fine art.

The distinction of this exhibition, The Lacquer Story: Dialogue “Cua Vong”, is the diverse styles of the participating artists. Some artists only specialize in lacquer, and the stories in their artworks are often inspired by national traditions and history. The nation’s glory and strength from the past are depicted and conveyed with masterly and professional techniques.

Some of the other artists consider lacquer as a traditional symbol, and through this exhibition, they want to connect it with contemporary stories, break the usual structure of an artwork, and give the audience a more expansive space to enjoy and admire the artwork. There are also those who see lacquer as worth more than its material, and they experience lacquer as a companion that is sharing with them, observing, and affirming immortal and variant values in life.

From the initial inspiration evoked by the golden ‘Cua Vong’, each artist tries to find their own way of communicating with the symbol of traditional culture. They are not hesitant to step through the doorway of art creation and invite the public to connect and step towards the true values of creativity and human spiritual life.

During the exhibition, there will be artist talks and art tours with the curators which will be connecting art enthusiasts in general with those passionate for lacquer in particular./. 

  
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