Phuong Quoc Tri, one of the most famous young artists in Vietnam, last week opened the Cactus Contemporary Art Gallery in HCMC’s District 2, with an aim to create a professional playground and venue for up-and-coming artists to interact.
Cactus gallery - new playground for artists and art lovers
By My Tran in HCMC
Artist Phuong Quoc Tri talks with a viewer in front of his work ‘Nude’ at the exhibition ‘Tobe or..’ at Cactus Contemporary Art Gallery in HCMC’s District 2 - Photo: My Tran Phuong Quoc Tri, one of the most famous young artists in Vietnam, last week opened the Cactus Contemporary Art Gallery in HCMC’s District 2, with an aim to create a professional playground and venue for up-and-coming artists to interact.
“As a young artist, I partly understand the status of Vietnam’s art market and thoughts of young artists. I opened the gallery as a reliable venue for art lovers, artists, collectors and visitors,” said Tri, adding that the gallery will exchange art works and organize contemporary art events to promote and develop young talents through exhibitions. The gallery only displays contemporary art collections of selected young local as well as foreign artists who have a profound passion for arts, distinguished styles and a high-level of creativeness, said Tri.
Cacti live in a harsh environment but blossom into beautiful flowers and symbolize a strong will to live and its toughness is the inspiration for the name of the gallery. Thus, Tri hopes that Vietnamese contemporary arts and young artists survive no matter how the market moves in the future.
Refusing to choose short-term exhibitions like some other galleries, Cactus will show paintings over one month so that art lovers will have more time to admire paintings and exchange with artists. It also means artists will have a better chance of being approached by collectors and buyers.
As an artist who held exhibitions in Tokyo and London, Tri understands that promoting paintings aboard is very meaningful for local artists to exchange with international artists as well as to learn more about contemporary art styles and trends of the world and the region, although the chances are slim. “Therefore, apart from hosting
exhibitions, I will try to connect with foreign galleries and investment channels in the hope of supporting artists and give them more energy, strength and inspiration to continue their passion,” said Tri. He will also hold workshops on contemporary arts for local artists and arts lovers.
Tri also took this occasion to open the ‘Tobe or..’ group exhibition featuring La Nhu Lan, Bui Tien Tuan, Luong Luu Bien, Mac Hoang Thuong and Tri himself.
The show feature 50 paintings of oil on canvas, on silk and mixed medium, with different styles and bringing a lot of emotion tone for viewers.
If Tuan depicts women’s beauty in silk with elegant and refining marks and strokes, Bien is striking with naked and strong engraving cubes of humans on the surface with varied feelings of sadness, happiness, loneliness or thoughtfulness.
Although not as noisy or colorful as the others, Tri presents portraits and nudity in rounded and authentic shapes with surprisingly close angles, so the artistic message and aesthetic view can be directly conveyed to the viewers. “In those works, I can find myself and I think feelings will cause viewers to find themselves,” said Tri. Meanwhile, Lan and Thuong’s abstract paintings are like dialogue in space with their thousands of lines and spots.
The exhibition runs until August 30 at the gallery, 3/13 Quoc Huong Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, tel: (08)5319 3142.