VOLTA14 Basel
Basel, Switzerland

11 - 16 June 2019

Artists: Yohei Yama & Lê Quảng Hà

Lê Quảng Hà is a Vietnamese painter and sculptor. His art dares to negate old and established things, especially those that are unprogressive, and to challenge tradition, culture and values. ‘One has to break down idols, even if it is God, to let oneself fabricate a more civilized and new cultural order’, as the artist states.

Lê Quảng Hà creates slightly disturbing, yet intriguing paintings, avoiding traditional, academic subjects in his art. He instead chooses to address issues that many artists prefer to overlook or even ignore in their work, with much vitality, meaning, and social critique in the brutal honesty of his art. With its ironic comments, his art addresses subjects, which the young generations of Vietnam are confronted with, making a discourse on the clashes between tradition and the modern values of contemporary Vietnam.            

In Vietnam, his art is still regarded as an outburst within the social framework. Nevertheless, it is the very controversy that he arouses which has become the leading indicator of the importance of his art. He has exhibited in Vietnam, Germany, China, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, Korea, Indonesia, and Great Britain. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan and the Singapore Art Museum.
Yohei Yama is Japanese artist who drawn to elemental energies whose hypnotic works lay claim to the transcendent power of art to heal, or to atone. From the paralyzing aftermath of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima sprang the essential motifs that characterize his work -- little trees, rays of light and swirling winds that bridge and rebuild the bond between the artist and nature. The art breaths and sighs – concentric circles, lines and shapes swell and sway, mirroring nature’s irregular perfection, simultaneously recalling Op Art, 60s psychedelia and primitive patchwork patterns. There is also tumultuous, untamable wind; monochrome lines curl around and fold in on themselves and the result is curious – comfort in the sublimation to chaos.

“I realised this is healing for me, for people, and for the nature humans destroy.”

Born in Saitama Japan in 1977, Yohei Yama now lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Originally a photographer by trade and traveller by nature, he had his first solo show of paintings in Arles, France and has continued as a painter ever since, exhibited widely in Japan, France, United Kingdom, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. He has been auctioned by Christie’s, JSL Asia contemporary auction in Taiwan and Poly Auction. Yama was also listed as an influential Japanese artist in Christie’s Hong Kong 30 Year Anniversary Book.

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