mardi 7 octobre 2014

The exponents without number


“The exponents without number” is a collection of artworks in which images undergo a process of duplication. Created mostly using transparent materials, the images invade the space and pull the audience into a silent “play”.
This “play” of visuals is filled with the authenticity of a contemporary reality and the sincerity of real-life characters. So close yet so far away, the characters are trapped in their own narratives. Separated by the coldness of the plastic, they distance themselves from their own kind.
Silent, they stay inside the “play”, mimicking each other’s expressions, yet they can’t grow attached. Quite, they stay, merging until their originals and variations are abandoned. Together, they use their body language to express an inability to change. Immersed in their selfish universes, they are unable to find the rhythm of the outside world. Like invisible members of an orchestra, they appear soundless and motionless. The “play”, although silent, leads us into a more complex and conflicted reality.

A solo show at Heritage Space, Hanoi 2014.

mardi 23 octobre 2012


Tran Trong Vu
The art of (3)D system

Would Trân Trong Vû be the James Cameron of painting? One could believe in it, through reading everywhere that the artist fabricates works in three dimensions. However, not of new technologies here, the process - to remain in the cinematographic comparison - would be closer to Gondry. Imagination, after all, is in power, because to create this impression of 3D, Trân Trong Vû had the simple but great idea to paint on transparent plastic sheets. Enough to think, as the saying goes, but the effect is seizing and opens possibilities of settings in scene and new interactions with the public. For one who struggles for the place of painting in the contemporary art at the sides of the photograph or the video, the matter is to give another life to a space. By leaving the walls and by laying out these works, as suspended in the free air, so as to create a permanent and labyrinthian trompe-l'oeil, he invents at the same time visual and psychological effects while inviting the public to look for his way in a ludic and intelligent hide-and-seek game. Because if Trân Trong Vû considers painting as a means, and not an objective, his figures with the so systematic and fixed smiles that they become disturbing, have also a political dimension full of derision. Post-communist legacy, phantasms related to Asia? Malicious Trân Trong Vû definitely wants to play with the public.

Trân Trong Vû
l’art du système (3)D

Trân Trong Vû serait-il le James Cameron de la peinture? On pourrait y croire, à force de lire partout que l’artiste fabrique des oeuvres en trois dimensions. Pourtant, pas de nouvelles technologies ici, la démarche – pour rester dans la comparaison cinématographique – serait plus proche d’un Gondry. L’imagination au pouvoir en somme, car pour créer cette impression de 3D, Trân Trong Vû a eu l’idée simple et géniale de peindre sur des lais de plastique transparent. Suffisait d’y penser comme on dit, mais l’effet est saisissant et ouvre des possibilités de mises en scène et d’interactions avec le public assez inédites. Pour celui qui revendique haut et fort la place de la peinture dans l’art contemporain aux côtés de la photo ou de la vidéo, le propos est de donner une autre vie à un espace. En quittant les murs et en disposant ces oeuvres, comme suspendues dans l’air libre, de manière à créer un trompe-l’oeil permanent et labyrinthique, il invente des effets à la fois visuels et psychologiques tout en invitant le public à chercher son chemin dans une partie de cache-cache aussi ludique qu’intelligente. Car si Trân Trong Vû considère la peinture comme un moyen, et non pas un objectif, c’est que ses personnages aux sourires si systématiques et figés qu’ils en deviennent inquiétants, ont aussi une dimension politique pleine de dérision. Héritage post-communiste, fantasmes liés à l‘Asie? Le malicieux Trân Trong Vû a décidément envie de jouer avec le public.

Nicolas Mathé
Lets Motiv n° 124/mars 2011/ Toulouse

lundi 22 octobre 2012




Tran Trong Vu’s installation: unity in three dimensions

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- An installation by Vietnamese-born French artist Tran Trong Vu is one of the central pieces at one of the showrooms at the Youth Art Palace. The creation by the artist is an attempt to breathe life into space by means of adding symbols, signs and illusions. Tran Trong Vu, a French artist of Vietnamese origin, paints on large transparent plastic sheets and installs them in space and the painting becomes an illusion. His creations involve participation by the public or at least its consent to become part of a particular creation. The visitors look for their own path in transparency between images, figures and flowers and act as if they were on a stage.
One of the goals the artist gave himself is to breathe life into space by filling it with signs and symbols, illusions and metaphors. Tran created the installation presented at the ongoing Art Week in 2012 in Paris. It reflects and sums up the artist’s views, relying on ‘a little lie’ to approach the truth.
“It’s a landscape of flowers in three dimensions. Once inside this installation, the visitor sees silhouettes that seem to be moving. Their backs face the flowers and they appear to be avoiding the flowers as if trying to escape this landscape that looks absurd but poetic at the same time,” says Tran of his installation, which has drawn a multitude of curious visitors.
The son of the famous Vietnamese poet and novelist Tran Dan and an artist of high stature, Tran Trong Vu taught at the College of Fine Arts in Hanoi, which he had graduated from in 1987. He started working and living in Paris in 1990 after completing his studies at the National Fine Arts College of Paris. His creations have gone on display in many art spaces across the world: in France, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, India, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong... Tran Trong Vu was awarded a grant by the New York-based Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

mardi 15 mars 2011

the 18 proposals of the impossible

The possible – the impossible
The real – the unreal
Freedom –everyday life
Entering the exhibition is like entering the painter’s life. Upstairs, public life, political experiences, war, its absurdity, its logic, artificial façades, fake, empty smiles that we present to the world. The calmness of the color blue numbs the body, which dissolves without pain, unaware of its own disappearance. Is it not important to always smile ? Here it is expressed that by lack of vigilance, we lose ourselves.
Downstairs, the caves become chambers of intimacy and speak of exile, an empty-handed departure, the suitcases he never had, filled with memories, ties to his father – writing.

The correspondences of a single man are a story that unfolds.
Three forms: a book, crumpled, then un-crumpled, whose twenty-one pages you can now read. Its pages, suspended in space, that can be more or less read. We thus travel, faces towards the sky, in an illegible novel. And finally, crumpled pages in a suitcase, overflowing and showing the disappearance of a person who left without a suitcase and without a trace, except for what Vû invents, mixing his life with the daily news, which echoes his own departure, his own wanderings. He who was able to be born a second time. He did not get lost. His suitcase was filled with words. But the words in this fiction are too painful – a narration whose pages crumple…reading them, like writing them, is uncomfortable. You have to tell a story not to disappear. Vû tells his story as a painter would – his shapes complete it where words cannot be written.
“Eight hours earlier, the man got a brief phone call. He understood everything. He understood that love is but a utopian proposal of the impossible. He understood that it is but a dreadful little fox and that his love is simply subject to the ridicule of others. Later in the evening, he shut himself in the bathroom. In the mirror, he saw all twenty-one pages of the unfinished correspondence fly. He saw the man cry in impossible pain, in a disillusion of impossible love. Then he saw him fall onto the cold tiles, light as a tree branch.”
Vû’s paintings battle with life (paper is crumpled, flowers are restrained to their cage or are faced with soldiers…). It is his own way to go into the world. And he knows how to invite us in: paintings colorful, attractive, translucent; we approach them, recognize ourselves within them. It is then that the trap closes and we experience the pain of exile, we discover the shame in retelling it.
Leaving without taking anything away from it means never putting down your baggage. Bringing your baggage with you to an exhibition. Is it even possible?
sylvie Corroler-Talairach / curator of the exhibition

Le possible – l’impossible
Le réel – l’irréel
La liberté – le quotidien
Aller dans l’exposition comme on va dans la vie du peintre. En haut, la vie publique, les expériences politiques, la guerre, son absurdité, sa logique, les attitudes de façade, les faux sourires vides que l’on adresse à la face du monde. Le calme du bleu anesthésie le corps qui se délite, sans douleur, sans conscience de disparaître. L’important n’est-il pas de toujours sourire? Il est dit ici que par manque de vigilance, on se perd.
En bas, les caves deviennent les chambres de l’intime et racontent l’exil, le départ les mains vides, les valises que l’on n’a pas et qui se remplissent de souvenirs, des liens avec le père – l’écriture.
Correspondances d’un homme seul est une histoire qui prend forme.
Trois formes: le livre, froissé, puis défroissé, dont on peut finalement lire les vingt et une pages. Les feuilles suspendues dans l’espace, qui se donnent plus ou moins à lire. Ainsi nous voyageons, nez en l’air, dans un roman illisible. Et enfin, feuilles froissées dans la valise, elles débordent et disent la disparition de l’un parti sans valise et dont aucune trace ne subsiste, uniquement celles que Vû invente, mixant sa vie avec ce fait-divers qui fait écho à son propre départ, sa propre errance, lui qui a pu être – naître au monde une deuxième fois. Il ne s’est pas perdu, sa valise était pleine de mots. Mais les mots sont trop douloureux dans cette fiction – narration, les pages se froissent, la lecture alors, comme l’écriture, n’est pas aisée. Il faudrait pourtant pouvoir raconter pour ne pas disparaître. Vû raconte à la manière du peintre et les formes en disent long, là où les mots ne peuvent plus s’écrire.
« Huit heures avant l’homme a reçu, rapidement, un appel. Il a tout compris. Il a compris que l’amour n’est qu’une proposition utopique de l’impossible. Il a compris qu’il n’est qu’un affreux petit renard et que son amour n’est qu’un simple sujet de rigolade pour les autres. Puis tard dans la soirée il est enfermé seul dans la salle de bain. Il a vu dans le miroir voler toutes les vingt-et-une pages de la correspondance inachevée, il a vu pleurer l’homme dans une douleur impossible, dans une désillusion d’amour impossible, puis il l’a vu tomber sur le carrelage froid, léger comme une branche d’arbre. »
La peinture de Vû bataille avec la vie (les feuilles sont froissées, les fleurs sont contraintes dans leur cage ou font face aux soldats…). C’est sa manière à lui d’aller dans le monde. Et il sait nous y inviter à notre tour: une peinture colorée, séduisante, translucide; nous nous approchons, nous nous y voyons même. C’est alors que le piège se referme et nous connaissons la douleur de l’exil, et nous découvrons la pudeur à la dire.
Partir sans rien emporter, c’est ne jamais pouvoir poser ses bagages. Le temps d’une exposition, porter les bagages avec. Mais est-ce seulement possible?

Fondation pour l'art contemporain
espace Ecureuil
l'exposition se déroulera du 11 mars au 30 avril 2011
3, place du Capitole. 31000 Toulouse. France
téléphone: 33- (0)5 62 30 23 30
du mardi au samedi de 11h à 19h30
et le premier dimanche de chaque mois de 15h à 19h30, entrée libre
visites accompagnées tous les samedis à 17h

mardi 14 septembre 2010

The Three Paintings

"Yellow Memory", acrylic on red fabric, 71" x 59"

"In the blue of evening"", oil on canvas, 71" x 106"

"The other side of the mirror", special medium on mirror, 49" x 65"

lundi 1 mars 2010

Well Done Globalisation !

About 20 young girls in two piece bathing suit, red color, life size, painted on transparent plastic sheets (100cm X 250cm), suspended in the open air to create a huge 3D image. The viewers can approach and enter the image to discover the setting in scene of the Miss Contest.

My work proposes an ironic and ambiguous glance on a cultural reality in Vietnam by creating a Beauty Contest and by inviting the public to attend it. The beauty of these young girls can deaden the cultural need of an individual who looks at them, but can it replace the need for cultural and artistic exchanges at the national level, in the globalisation of today?

These last years, one of the most outstanding symbols of the globalisation in Vietnam is the flowering of Miss Contests in all the country. Direct products of the Doi Moi (renovation period), the Miss Contests are extremely applauded by Vietnam, as if they were huge cultural activities. If cultural activities and art disciplines in Vietnam remain timid in front of the globalisation by fear of losing their traditional identity, these Miss Contests on the contrary, and more than ever, keep open spirit, without any concern for the national identity.
Candidates and organizers of Miss Contests are ready to ignore traditional and decency rules for Vietnamese women, in order to show the body's beauty in public places. They are congratulated by Cultural and Ideological Management Services. They are as well admired by the general public. But while a visual art exhibition represents nudity, it receives certainly many criticisms and discussions on the national identity, the Vietnamese manners and the moral values.

Well done Misses! Well done Globalisation!

jeudi 18 février 2010

Subject or Object

Installation, transparent plastic sheets in 12 pairs, each sheet 100 x 270cm.

Some people feel more confident thanks to photographic tools. This is a chance for them to show their right of owning not only the camera but also the subject taken by the camera. In other words, camera have taken them to the position of subject and every thing else around them is object. Taken pictures also helps the camera owners to show their power. They have all the privileges to control the lens and choose their subject.