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In Situ

October 15, 2019
August 31, 2019
Lê Hoàng Bích Phượng
Nguyễn Phi Phi Oanh
Nguyễn Đức Phương
Nguyễn Huy An
Nguyễn Trần Nam
Nguyễn Minh Thành

As suggested by the name ‘In Situ’—a Latin phrase meaning ‘in the original place’, ‘appropriate position’, or ‘natural arrangement’—the exhibition not only showcases the latest artworks dedicated to Manzi by Nguyễn Phi Phi Oanh, Lê Hoàng Bích Phượng, Nguyễn Huy An, Nguyễn Trần Nam, Nguyễn Đức Phương and Nguyễn Minh Thành, but also serves as the grand opening for Manzi’s new exhibition space located at 2 Ngõ Hàng Bún, Hà Nội.

Presenting a thorough experiment on lacquer and silk through more than 20 works, the exhibition transports the viewer to a diverse reality painted from life, from the nostalgic and carefree spirit in Nguyễn Đức Phương's artworks, the delicate and richly meaningful silk paintings of Huy An, the dark obsessions of Nguyễn Trần Nam’s black and white lacquer series, and the melancholy portraits on silk of Nguyễn Minh Thành, to the obscure relations between time and space in Lê Hoàng Bích Phượng’s fragile silk works, and the reflection of the strangeness and significance of the material and the local in the age of the immaterial, virtual and digital reproduction in Phi Phi Oanh’s lacquer on steel series.

Painting has always been an important part of the artistic practice of the six, particularly in this exhibition where silk and lacquer are the main mediums. ‘In Situ’ therefore questions ‘what it is that defines a painting’, and ‘where do the boundaries and rules for the medium lie?’

*‘In Situ’ is supported by the Goethe Institut.


PRO SE SERIES - installation by Nguyễn Oanh Phi Phi

In this exhibition, the format of the works presented make reference to the touchscreen tablet, a technological device so ubiquitous that it is integral to the way we interact today. Always by our side like an extension of our being, these digital devices entertain us, help record our memories, plan our lives, and connect us. Ultimately they have become how we mediate the world and represent a window into our collective imagination.

At first glance, these seem like a series of mass produced tablets showing some random digital image, but upon closer inspection, they are actually lacquer paintings mimicking screens. Although the painting image is static, I rely on the materiality of the lacquer medium and ever shifting light against the gold and silver leaf to suggest movement and to entice the viewer to move in closer, thus entering into its “aura”.

The viewer is invited to interact with the work by gently picking it up with two hands.


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