Artist Ha Manh Thang will showcase a painting collection at the Thavibu Gallery in Bangkok from September 20 to October 18.
Entitled Fading Dream, Disintegrating Realities, the collection includes 28 paintings of his latest work.
The mixed-media collection was put together this year in response to an invitation to organise a solo exhibition by gallery director John Middeborg.
“I was preparing for a different exhibition when I met Middeborg. He told me I had only six months to think and prepare. Finally, I received his invitation to exhibit my works in Thavibu Gallery,” said Thang.
The new works, building off a previous series, continues to delve into themes of memory, history and cultural heritage. The themes conjure up ancient towers at Angkor Wat, communal houses in northern Vietnamese villages and emperors’ costumes from the 17th century Le and Trinh dynasties.
Most of the paintings feature imperial robes worn by royal family members. Other works focus on ancient architectural designs and features.
Thang, 34, is considered one of Viet Nam’s most important emerging artists. He demands answers to questions few ponder with any success.
“Sometimes I question myself: In the end, where does art lead us? We work with great effort to make our art newer and fresher, but is that important? Or is art like a journey that leads back to nature – we go away and then come back to the beginning where we started?”
Thang’s exhibit in Bangkok promises to give some sort of answer. “All turbulence and change are part of impermanence. It seems that in both art and life there still exists something like those temples and ruined costumes, changed by nature over time. The best selection and change is done by nature itself – by forces beyond human control.”
After graduating from the Viet Nam Academy of Fine Arts in 2004, Thang participated in some international exhibitions in Singapore, Germany, Hungary and the United States.
His work has also found its way into the permanent collection of the Singapore Art Museum.