VietNamNet Bridge - "In the Midst of Life" is a solo exhibition of wood burn paintings by Hanoi-based artist Ngo Van Sac, which will open at Craig Thomas Gallery, 27i Tran Nhat Duat Street in District 1, HCM City from October 25 to November 25.
Artist Ngo Van Sac.
It will feature the artist’s passion in blocks of fresh, untreated wood that grip his images with rawness and the curved veins in the wood’s surface take the eyes gently up and down the portraits, sneaking into the intricacies of the pictures.
Sac’s production process must involve a lot of planning, but the artworks are never overdone. Minimal color and simple materials prevent visual saturation and then he pencils the outlines onto the wooden blocks, then blowtorches them, masking off areas with a metal spatula to modulate the color. The burnt images are surprisingly detailed, and fire alone cannot offer such sharpness.
Sac has always painted people. In previous exhibitions, he has shown historical characters with older, wiser faces, or sometimes groups of sitters. This time, he turns inwards with his self-portraits which may be construed as self-indulgent, an honest search, and an expression of personal emotion.
Sac grew up in a village 20 kilometers from Hanoi and those peaceful memories will be recalled in bicycles, trees and water lilies which fade their way into the images, like déjà-vu of a tranquil lifestyle that is almost mythical for the urban youth.
The two installation pieces of the collection create the sensation of a flow around the wooden shapes. Each prism presents different moods of the artist, under the perspectives of several individuals. The narrative unfolds as the viewer walks around, showing little action. It’s a story of the subtle changes in emotion that come and go all the time.
"My art work is about desires, the tension between real life and fantasies and the complicated relationships among humans. I want to show my emotions and share my own stories. I am interested in artworks that are created from different materials, such as wood cut combined with newspaper, sand or acrylic. I like strong renderings of figure, the effect of different surface textures and strong contrast between black and white. The inspiration for my work comes from my daily life," Sac said.
"Concrete figurative details and simple empty spaces refer to both real and unreal life as well as to dreams about myself. Each circumstance creates complex emotion- whether people are alone or sitting together, talking – and this is something I want to show and share. Today, we communicate with email, cell phones and other communication technologies. The distance between humans is growing. We need to spend more time talking directly to one another and share our emotions."
1982 - Born in Hanoi, Vietnam
1999 - Graduated from Hanoi Institute of Fine Art
1999 - Won prize of Vietnamese Association at National Student Exhibition
2000 - Exhibited in National exhibition, Hanoi Vietnam
2001 - Exhibited in Asean Philip Morris exhibition at National Fine Art Museum, Hanoi Vietnam
2002 - Workshop in Goethe Institute, Hanoi, Vietnam
2003 - Exhibited in Asean Philip Morris Exhibition
2004 - Exhibited in Capital Exhibition, Hanoi Vietnam. Second prize at National Fine Art University Student Exhibition
2004 - Graduate with a Masters from Vietnam Fine Art University
2005 - Exhibited in National Exhibition Hanoi, Vietnam
2007 - Exhibited in 1st Malaysia International Art Expo
2008 - Graduated with Master of Fine Arts from Vietnam Fine Art University
2008 - Solo exhibition at Loft Gallery Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2008 - Group exhibition at TIME Gallery (Vienna- Austria). Workshop and exhibited in International Symposium (Kenimajor – Hungary)
2008 - Exhibited in MANIF International Art Fair (Seoul Art Central, Korea)
2009 - Solo exhibition at National fine art Museum – Hanoi Vietnam
2010 - Sketch solo exhibition at National University of Teacher, Hanoi Vietnam
Some paintings by Ngo Van Sac:
Sac won the Dogma Self-portrait Award 2012 with this painting.
In the mist of life 1.
In the mist of life 5.
The garden of love.