Poetry of the Motherland opens on Thursday 17th June 2010 at Apricot Gallery, London and will introduce iconic works from two of the leading contemporary Vietnamese artists, Tran Luu Hau and Hoang Duc Dung. This exhibition offers a new experience for collectors and a regeneration of the London Art Market, opening its borders to a lesser known school of art which is fast growing in popularity within the Asian market.
Tran Luu Hau, at 82 years old, is one of the fathers of Vietnamese Contemporary art and was a student at the Viet Bac Fine Arts School during the war. He went on to teach for twenty-eight years at the Hanoi School of Fine Arts. In 1990, Hau was appointed Chairman of the Art Council of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, a post he held until 2000. Unusually for a Vietnamese artist he has travelled widely throughout his career. He studied art and theatre design in Moscow for six years and is fully conversant with European and American art. In 1990 he spent two months in Paris which culminated in an exhibition at Vietnam House. His work expresses his emotions in its ‘subjective deformation of nature’. This is particularly evident in his Sapa Landscape Series, Nude Series and the Banana Garden, all of which are bursting with colour and form suggesting vitality, exuberance and optimism. Hau believes an artist must capture the spirit of the sense and not bury him or herself in details. Although in his own work he is not interested in detail, he admires the finesse of Old Masters such as El Greco and Rembrandt. Twentieth-century artists from Matisse and Renault, to de Kooning and Pollock more immediately inspire Hau with their expressive energy and spirit. They are all artists more interested in the emotional unity of their work than its faithfulness to external reality and as Hau once said: “What is important is to express one’s emotions”.
Hoang Duc Dung is one of the youngest Vietnamese artists on the international art scene yet one of the most talented. Dung gained a Master of Arts degree in 2009 from the prestigious Vietnam University of Fine Arts, where he is now a lecturer. Dung's monochromatic canvases are striking and powerful, often displaying a very sensitive application of colour. Dung says that each colour has its own 'voice', for instance red is the colour of light and fire, conveying strength, prosperity, luck and happiness, whereas blue denotes coolness and mystery. The artist's delicate brushwork is so meticulous, that forms emerge indefinitely from the background, creating a haze of serenity. As seen in his Nudes in Blue and Nudes in Red series, Hoang Duc Dung has broken new ground in his work, moving away from the Vietnamese traditions of folk art or Impressionism by creating his own unique style.
Apricot Gallery has recently opened a flagship space on Albemarle Street in Mayfair. As the only gallery in the UK to specialise solely in contemporary Vietnamese Art, Apricot Gallery offers a unique platform to view the very best of a dynamic collection of artists who make up a vital branch of the growing Asian market. Apricot Gallery in London represents leading Vietnamese artists with whom it has developed long-standing relationships. Operating with integrity at the forefront of Vietnamese art, work from Apricot Gallery is represented in many international corporate and private collections, including those of H.R.H. Prince Andrew, the former US President Bill Clinton, the King of Morocco, the King of Malaysia, and The Crown Prince of Denmark.
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