Artists consider Truong Tan to be the most daring and creative artist. He is also the first openly gay artist to address same-sex themes freely in Vietnam through paintings, porcelain statues, performance works and installations containing the free transition between a variety of materials. .
Among them, the thing that makes Truong Tan most interested is probably lacquer – a special traditional material of the Vietnamese people. A lacquer painting can be very “popular”, or extremely expensive. Because its material is plank wood (with a special design suitable for hot and humid climate without breaking), lacquer, eggshell … cheap or can also be very “expensive” such as gold leaf, silver leaf , shells … Traditional lacquer often has a fragile, delicate and luxurious beauty. But in Truong Tan’s work, lacquer is rough and thorny, with naked male bodies entwined to form a mass, expressing both violence and intercourse.
Experience with lacquer for a long enough time to turn over every old nook and cranny, patch up new things, contemplate, change places, ponder and then change places, contemplate, flip… Truong Tan constantly tries challenge yourself in many different approaches with the same lacquer material. Around the beginning of 2017, he started composing the series “Human” – a series of surreal depictions of celestial bodies revolving in space. Housed neatly in one room, the 24 paintings in this series take the viewer on a full trip into the galaxy.
When I went to the exhibition, I had to stand very close to the “Red”, “Memories”, “Strange” or “Look”, “Wind”, “Snow”… to look deeper into the planets. . As in “The Man” – the work that impressed me the most – at first it was just like the moon hidden by a dark cloud in the middle of a cloudy night. But when I got closer, I could clearly see the lines of the face of the human race rising up out of nowhere, surrounding the brilliant little planet. The facial expressions that ranged from ambition and lust to abomination and danger made me feel nervous. Just standing sideways to the left or right of the work, you can see more layers of people appear clearly. They seem to be a hidden danger, a thief lurking in the dark behind me. Perhaps Truong Tan thinks that, for the Earth, the face of humanity needs to be shown exactly like that.
This is also a great inspirational work for Truong Tan. After “Human”, he created 23 other works with the same theme, symbolizing the emotional levels people often experience in life. All are amazingly detailed, surpassing any other lacquer work. They are present in the same room, making the viewer feel like drifting in the galaxy, going from one level to another.