For the first time in Hanoi, the exhibition will showcase more than 20 distinctive artworks by Phạm Trần Việt Nam the works were made between 2012 and 2023, most of them were recently created during the post-Covid pandemic, including a few large-scale paintings, the largest of which is 3.2 meters wide and 20 meters long. Some works were produced in more than 10 years, resulting from a continuous process of reinventing and restructuring to create new revival identities.
Phạm Trần Việt Nam is one of the few artists in Vietnam who steps into and approaches painting with a primitive spontaneous spirit. His practice challenges both common understanding as well as conventional practice method and conception of painting. By unconventional experiments in scale, material and painting method, abandoning academic standards and biological restraints, he borrows the language of visual art as a medium to search for the dark patches of the internal world and the invisible forms of the external world. Painting here is also seen as a therapeutic method, a language to translate on behalf of other languages, all with their limitation/improbability.
In Phạm Trần Việt Nam ’s case, the role of form has become secondary, there is no methodology or formatting orientation in the creative process. Form ‘slips’ into existence unconsciously, directly from emotional energy, which in turn comes from an “another existence’.
“His painting technique starts at one edge of the canvas, thereafter the particulars overflow outwardly like moss growing. The initial strokes/details will lead to the following strokes/details, whereby creating noncompositional paintings. Because of the painter’s urging compulsion to smear and wipe, all consideration and calculation were excluded, leaving behind the finiteness of reality. Shapes and strokes jostling, suppressing, and thrusting consistently cause the painting's form to protrude out of the canvas; and the margin of background materials, therefore, is only temporarily segregating one’s vision. Cutting holes in the background, in addition to being a way of ‘drawing’, is also an act of breaking the framework of the canvas”*
This exhibition is the transformation in thinking and practice method of Phạm Trần Việt Nam . The palette is more colorful, the scale is more adaptive to the space and the spirit of his gloomy world is closer to life. This is also the result of a long close collaboration between the artist and curator Tran Luong.
*quotation from exhibition’s statement by curator Tran Luong.