KVT – Seeking “Directions” at Dong Phong

KVT appreciates the work of an up and coming talent plus the world’s best gelato in Ly Dao Thanh.

It’s no secret that the intimate Dong Phong Gallery tucked away in quiet and gentrified Ly Dao Thanh Street is one of my favorite art spaces.


It may be a teensy space but its exhibitions are always excellently presented.

If you are an amateur or serious collector of excellent, contemporary Vietnamese art then you’d be advised to get to know the personnel at Dong Phong and be amazed at the Dong Phong collection at their private Gallery.

What I really appreciate about Dong Phong is their occasional exhibitions of the work of unknown or emerging or up-and-coming artists.

Until mid December they feature 30-ish freelance artist Nguyen Duong from Thanh Hoa Province. He studied at the Hanoi University of Fine art. This is Duong’s first public outing and I’ll anticipate more from him in the future.

There are two large and four smaller oils in the show at prices ranging from $300 to $1000 – which are amazingly cheap for quality work when you consider the mind gasping figures quoted at a host of nearby galleries for art work not a fraction as effective.

The artist has used two models in his work-his own child and a young niece.

His oil washes are lush and mysterious and his ability to play with light is delightful.

My favorite canvas is the large one below with its blindfolded child and familiar cartoon character.

1.RealShow, Hiding 1.2.3 #1,120 x 160 cm, oil on canvas 2015

I could cast inferences willy nilly – like confetti – as to the meanings, simple or profound, that spread their tentacles through my imagination (sometimes described as febrile), but with Nguyen Duong’s delightful, if occasionally disturbing, imagery, it’s best if I leave it up to the mind set and experience of the viewer.

Most won’t be disappointed… particularly if after dallying with Duong’s ‘Directions’ you decide to cogitate under an umbrella at the neighboring ice cream place that serves some of the best gelato in the world.

(Theo Hanoi Grapevine - KVT opinion)