As time passes through shadows …
2023 - Present

Installation of 18 lacquer paintings on terracotta, 30 x 30 cm each piece.


In his new painting series, titled As time passes through shadows...(2023 - ongoing), where Tùng experimented with lacquer on clay, the artist selects and intertwines a constellation of natural forms (flowers, leaves, termite wings, ember spark, rain droplets, fireflight glows, etc.), body organs (a tooth, hand with curved fingers, or hip bone), and abstract flows and strokes that invoke the presence of sublime, even divine, energy. Due to lacquer’s palimpsestic nature, where each concealed layer is partially revealed through the act of sanding, the audience can catch a glimpse of the aforementioned forms buried beneath the painting‘s surface; their presence now takes on spectral qualities as they shift in and out of our view. Despite the painting’s seemingly static surface, if we were to unfocus our eyes, we could tune into the slightest tremble from the images beneath: a finger flick, a bony shiver, a wavering grass blade, or a fleeting termite wing. All of them constitute memories of the soil, forest, water, sound, light, and colors of Tùng’s absent homeland, compressed into each resin layer. To him, each sanding stroke serves as a violent and self-destructive act, as he chafes away his own memories of the land. But it was also the sanding process that purifies and solidifies these mnemonic forms, allowing them to congeal and form a multilayered visual expression, in which we can observe the overlapping flows of time and the fragmentation of space. And water, ever forgiving and soothing, will wash away the pain of erosion.

Description is excerpted from the essay by Dương Mạnh Hùng from "The Disoriented Garden…A Breath of Dream" Exhibition Booklet, 2023, p.33.