Xem Đêm Càng Đêm

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August 9, 2020
July 5, 2020
Nguyễn Đức Phương
Nguyễn Hà

"...In the distance the stars
Nearby, fireflies..." – Phung Cung


Manzi is pleased to present ‘Xem đêm- Càng đêm’ – a light art installation by visual artist Nguyen Duc Phuong (aka Phuong Gio) and architect Nguyen Ha.


Divided into 2 different sections over a 4 week period, like 2 chapters of a novel, the light installation Chapter 1 - ‘Xem đêm’ and Chapter 2 – ‘Càng đêm’ is an intriguing combination of architecture and visual art, reflecting the similarities between the artist and the architect in the process of recreating space and form.

Inspired by the traditional culture of the Northwest Mountains and the Northern Delta, ‘Xem đêm – Càng đêm’ comprises a series of 5 installations composed of 180 lamps in the form of everyday objects often found in rural areas such as bamboo baskets, ax blades, earthen cooking tripods and flint stones… as well as items used in spiritual activities in the Northwest Mountains such as bamboo cards, seals, stamps and fish-shaped wooden tocsins. The combination of traditional materials such as Dzo paper, cloth, indigo, coal and copper together with modern industrial materials like cast aluminum, composite and steel creates an unexpected visual and functional effect in the works in this exhibition.

Like the poetry collection “Xem đêm” by Phùng Cung*, from which the exhibition borrows part of its name, the installation ‘Xem đêm – Càng đêm’ can, in a way, be seen as an act of ‘memory gathering’, an attempt to elucidate the nature of the night, its silence and its darkness.

The exhibition will open at 18:30 on Sunday, July 5th at Manzi’s exhibition space, 2 Ngo Hang Bun street. Admission free

*Phung Cung (1928-1997) is a famous Vietnamese poet and writer. His poetry collection ‘Xem đêm’ is a despairing but beautiful compilation of memories of the countryside of northern Vietnam.

'Xem đêm - Càng đêm' is part of Manzi’s art programme, supported by the Goethe-Institut.

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