Art KaohsiungKaohsiung, Taiwan

8 - 10 December 2017


Artists: Richard Streitmatter-Tran, Lê Thuý, Phi Phi Oanh, Saeko Ando, Nguyễn Thị Châu Giang, Trần Nguyễn Trung Tín

Both lacquer and silk painting are considered traditional art forms in Vietnam. Lacquer as a medium is part tradition and part experimentation. The introduction of various pigments, application of metals and support surfaces have emerged from year of experiment through trial and error. Innovations of this unique material continue to this day in the works of Oanh Phi Phi and Saeko Ando, who push the medium materially and conceptually.

On the other hand, artists Le Thuy, Tran Nguyen Trung Tin, Nguyen Chau Giang and Richard Streitmatter-Tran, show different approaches to silk painting. They demonstrate divergent techniques and materials: different types of silk, paints, and inks that range from realist to illustrative. Some artists paint both sides of the silk and while others use multiple layers of silk to build up the painted image.

While seeminly opposite - lacquer being dense and opaque, while silk is light and transparent - they both rely on multiple applications of pigments manipulated by forms of erasure to arrive at the final image. They also embrace unpredictability that include climate conditions or particle granularity.

Each artist has developed an intimate relation to the materials, viewing their practice as being informed by its materiality through research and making.  While there is an established collector base for modernist works in lacquer and silk, appreciation for contemporary works in these mediums has much potential to grow. These artists are reimagining material knowledge and applying it to their own conceptual inclinations, contributing to the future evolution of contemporary lacquer and silk painting.

Curator - Richard Streitmatter-Tran

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