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"BLUE MEMORY: Paintings by Tran Trong Vu"
2004-02-07 until 2004-05-01
ASU Art Museum
Tempe, AZ, USA

Tranís striking paintings of schematic figures on suspended sheets of plastic explore what it means to be Asian and Vietnamese within the context of an increasingly westernized global culture. His paintings are peopled by androgynous Asian figures against a backdrop of the signs of a modernized Hanoi (like cameras, Western toilets and street signs). Generic Asian male and female figures are painted on life-size sheets of plastic; a material found everywhere in the streets of Hanoi.

Suspended from the ceiling, the paintings fill the space and form a labyrinth through which the viewer must walk. The figures hold cameras to their faces or are framed by televisions, products associated with contemporary Asia. Sometimes they are surrounded by slogans that Tran has drawn from banners in Hanoi or by fragments of his fatherís poetry. Tranís work explores both the westernization of Vietnamese daily life and the way Vietnamese culture is viewed by the West. Tranís work contrasts markedly with more sanctioned, romanticized paintings by Vietnamese artists.

About the Artist

Tran Trong Vu was born in Hanoi in 1964, the youngest son of Tran Dan, one of the best known dissident writers of the 1950s. Tran graduated first in his class at the Hanoi School of Fine Arts in 1987 and in 1989 won a scholarship to study painting at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Tran now lives and works in Paris.

IMAGE
Tran Trong Vu,
Installation from 2002.
Courtesy of the artist.


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