Story: Nam Thi
Artists Huong Tran and Dao Nhu have incorporated flowers into their creations and turned them into a unique mode of expression. A dual exhibition explores timeless serenity amid the chaos of life.
Artists Huong Tran and Dao Nhu have a particular fondness for flowers, which they explore to seemingly contradictory effect in the new exhibition Lang yen… xon xao! (Loud… and Silent!). Whether arranged in a vase, freshly plucked from a garden or blooming wild by the roadside, flowers flutter in the breeze and bask in the diffused light of dawn and twilight. In full bloom or slowly wilting away, flowers have the ability to create a special bond with observers and move artists’ souls.
Hương Trần và Đào Như là 2 nữ họa sĩ có niềm yêu mến đặc biệt đối với hoa – đối tượng tĩnh vật đại diện cho cái đẹp ngọt ngào, dịu hiền và sự mềm mại, thanh tao mà tạo hóa đã ban tặng cho cuộc đời, cũng như dành riêng cho phụ nữ. Mỗi khi lặng ngắm những bông hoa, ở họ đều gợi lên một sự đồng cảm riêng tư, rất tự nhiên, mà gắn kết rồi biểu đạt nó bằng hội họa.
THE POWER OF SILENCE
Visitors to the shared world of the two artists may at first be struck by a vision of tranquility. Even when the colors of leaves and background greatly contrast with those of flower petals, viewers will still find a sense of harmony and calm instead of conflict.
Yet that is only as far as the eye can see. By viewing the paintings through the lenses of emotion and memory, visitors will be able to perceive a vein of energy flowing underneath the surface. Flowers have always been symbols of beauty. However, only through silence can we perceive that beauty as it condenses in space and tap into the vitality long hidden inside delicate petals. By closely observing, we can see a unique and introspective beauty that transcends the fragility of the subject matter: quiet and calm, unbound and passionate, and made from the very fabric of our daily lives.
Femininity and gentleness emanate from Huong Tran’s compositions. Through delicate strokes and a soft color palette, her flower stems seem to flutter in a quiet space, creating a sense of calm and relief.
However, the petals also spill in all directions as if seeking freedom in the artist’s open mind, perhaps expressing a desire to transcend all restraints and freely enjoy life.
Vibrant contrasts, meanwhile, can be perceived in Dao Nhu’s paintings as she chooses flowers that dance in full, glorious bloom. Yet we can also spot some wilted flowers in the ensemble and even some fallen petals. This seems to evoke the fleeting nature of past experiences.
Dao Nhu’s depiction aims at the flowers’ carefree nature: their existence is one of ease, free of worries and baggage. She favors bold and confident strokes in her paintings while employing a warm and inviting color palette. This contrasts with Huong Tran’s style, yet their works form two halves of a complete and cohesive exhibition.
ZEN IN CHAOS
While both artists portray still objects, their paintings differ in technique and content as they seek to explore discrete energies hidden in the stillness of flowers, a place where calmness can emerge from the chaos.
Artists leave their aesthetic fingerprints in every stroke of creation. After viewing the exhibition, I had the opportunity to talk to the two artists. Both are gentle and elegant Hanoi women, yet they’ve also experienced challenges and difficulties. Visitors will realize that the core value that both artists convey is their ardent and boundless love for life.
A flower bursting into bloom or wilting and falling apart share the same stillness. They are still because of their inherent incompleteness and instability, but also because of their passionate and carefree nature. They are still because they’re waiting to embrace their kindred souls. Whether in art or life, we can only discover other souls yearning for meaningful connection by diving deep into our hearts. The flowers of Huong Tran and Dao Nhu will converse with us about these things.