Tran Nhat Thang
As a pioneer in Vietnamese painting in the post-innovation stage (in the late 1990s), it seems that Tran Nhat Thang has not lost his creative flame but still desired to change himself in the adventure of artistic world. His latest abstract compositions presents daring patterns and a pen of virtuosity. The feeling tracks are inspirational and precise. His paintings present a licentious style and some patterns of traditional oriental calligraphy. His brushes, including comma, waving, wipe, dropping with quick-slow and impetuous rhythms look soft and tender like silk and sometimes as if an arm embracing the whole horizon. Like a skilled horseman reining a restive horse, the artist lets the ego self dance on every emotional boundaries, reaching the extreme without illogicality and reaching the bottom without debauch. It seems that his paintings present something loose to attract attention at a first glance. And the more the viewers look at them, the more attractive they are to unconscious eyes of viewers in line with increased changes of colors and feeling in strokes, creating a voiceless melody. Tran Nhat Thang was borned 1972. He graduated from Hanoi University of Fine Arts in 1995. His works were introduced in the most important exhibitions in Vietnam during the past two decades (from 1995 so far). Also, Tran Nhat Thang painting has been internationally introduced in a wide manner and his paintings may be seen in many private collections and collections of organizations in Europe, Asia and the United State...
TRAN NHAT THANG
1972: Born in Hanoi
1995: Graduated from the Hanoi Fine Art Institute
Member of the Vietnam Fine Art Association
1995: National exhibition
1996: Exhibition with an Australian woman artist, 29 Hang Bai, Hanoi.
1997/1998/1999/2000 “Vietnam- ASEAN Fine Art Award” exhibitions
Solo exhibition, Gallery L’Atelier, Hanoi
1998: Art exhibition Fair, Australia
Solo exhibition “Path of white cloud”, L’impression gallery, Paris, France
1999: Solo exhibition “On my own”, gallery L’Atelier, Hanoi, Vietnam
Solo exhibition “The New”, Factory gallery, Hanoi
2000: Solo exhibition, gallery L’Atelier, Hanoi
2002: “Abstract view”, Nam Son Art Gallery-Hanoi
“Hanoi Autumn”, Nam Son Art Gallery-Hanoi
“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”, Nam Son Art Gallery-Hanoi
Solo exhibition “Path of white cloud”, Dong Son library, Hanoi, Viet Nam
2006: Solo exhibition “Path of white cloud”, Young Gallery in Hanoi
Solo exhibition “Untitle”, UNDP office in Hanoi
Solo exhibition, Maison des Art, Hanoi
2009: “Potrait of freedom” at Green Palm gallery, Hanoi, Vietnam
1993: Group exhibition in Natash Salon, Hanoi, Vietnam.
1997: Group exhibition at the Hanoi Fine Art Institute-Alliance Francaise
Group exhibition “Spring meeting 1+3”, Nam Son Gallery, Hanoi
2000: Group exhibition “Hanoi’s, Gallery 43 Trang Tien (CEAE)
2001: Group exhibition in Contemporary Art Centre-Hanoi, Vietnam
Group exhibition with young artists-Hanoi
Group exhibition in Thavibu-Bangkok, Thailand
2003: “Space-street”, Nam Son Art Gallery-Hanoi
2004: Group exhibition in Hanoi
Group exhibition in Beijing, China
2005: Group exhibition in Tokyo, Japan
2006: Group exhibition, Young Gallery in Hanoi
2007: Group exhibition, Maison des Art, Hanoi
Group show with sidercar, L’espas, Hanoi
2007 Art auction to fundraising for Operation Smile, Hanoi, Vietnam
2008: Exhibition “Top 30 final round of art prize of Asian sovereign art”, Hongkong and Sinagapore (www.sovereignartfoundation.com)
2009-2010: Exhibition “Paint with children” for local charity organization to help children with cancer in Hanoi
2011: Art auction in Manila, Philippines to fundraising for a boy with heart surgery
2012: Cooperate with volunteer group “Wings to dream” to paint with cancer children.
2013 Exhibition at Truong Son Martyrs cemetery, Quangtri province
Exhibition “Flower love” by Goldwell
Art auction to support for Central people
Art auction to support for cancer children at Hanoi Cancer hospital
2014 Art auction to support “Houses again flood” by VTV3, Vietnam
2015: Group exhibition “Power pigments – Do paper” Hanoi, Haiphong
2016: "At the hind sight" exhibition at Green Palm gallery, Hanoi, Vietnam
1997 Prize of the Vietnam Fine Art Association
My friend, artist N., once said: “Making art is a God-damned kind of work.” To which I objected:” God has nothing to do with that. You’re damning yourself, rather.” Our argument got to nowhere but this one conclusion: whether God-damned or self-damned, art makes it possible for us to survive
No matter you are writer, poet, singer or painter. Specializing in abstract painting at the very outset like Tran Nhat Thang, is two-fold damned. Abstract prides itself on such celebrated names sa Hans Hartung (1904-1987), Zao Wu-ki (1921) etc… The entrance into this temple gets narrower and narrower. This doesn’t prevent Thang from barging in. He must have begun with a right starting point, I think. He doesn’t make the realist world abstract, or, in other words, he refuses to look at realities with an abstract eye. Not that mountains and rivers and lakes can be painted in an abstract manner.
Tran Nhat Thang only paints his feelings, his heart, his soul-he scrutinizes his inner self to this effect. Such things cannot be expressed in any other way but abstraction. For instance: vagueness, emptiness, mixed feelings (half-joyous half-sad or half-resenting half-loving), disgust, nausea, vapidity, shame… You’d think there’s intervention of external elements, but on further reflection, you’d end up realizing that the essential is yourself, your own Heart. It turns out that Tran Nhat Thang mainly paints himself. Using abstract language to express abstract feelings is just natural, therefore you wouldn’t see any strained effort in Thang’s paintings. They just are like that and that’s that.
Feelings are transient, fleeting, evanescent and filled with precarious contigencies. Just so, with neither beginning nor end, quite in order of things: won – lost, intact – broken, tense – relaxed, moving –static, miseries- felicity…everything is subject to contingenies.
To express those transient feelings, Tran Nhat Thang chooses minimal abstraction. The brush runs over the surface pf canvas, only once without retracing any lines, tout ou rien, in the everybody-is-given-to-live-just-once spirit. Never repeat whatever you’ve done your living, your love, your words, your laughter…Such brushstrokes need intuition more than rationale. It’s enlightenment, rather than conscious realization. In composition, emphasis is put on major masses, major directions. The palette is rather monochrome. The forms (in fact, non-figurative) are casual assemblaces of strokes, fleeting, swishing violently, with neither start nor ending, on a dry or moist, or half-fry half-moisti background, thus creating an effect of stumbling, skipping, blurring, spilling, clairobscur, fuguitive… sensations. Sometimes, there would be a copious spinkling with one or several brushes, once or several times, in overlapping, thick or thin layers. In opposition to those chaotic features, are large masses imvued with quietude, emptiness, immensity, infiniteness, bewilderment. That is this kind of profungity/superficiality, light/darkness, day/night, hullabaloo/loneliness…opposition, which is actually the physiognomy of this human world.
So much so is attractive enough and more or less particular
To be an artist is being there… not to win. Unless to lose, even lose everything in most cases, against one’s will. To make art is getting opportunities to do creative work. That’s that.
This includes both start and ending. How can you tell what you’ve achieved and acquired?