HONG VIET DUNG
"I always paint people and views that are surrounding me. This is simple beauty, but very lyrical. In my paintings I like to reduce details, according to the Eastern style".
Member of the Vietnam Plastic Art Association
Member of Literature and Art Association
Member of Gang of Five
1962: Born in Hanoi
1972: Started painting lessons with tutor
1984: Graduated from Hanoi Fine Art University
1988: “Young Artists” Exhibition in USSR
1990: National Fine Art Exhibition ( Vietnam)
Painting Exhibition by Five artists ( Hanoi, Vietnam)
1991: Painting Exhibition by Five artists ( Ho Chi Minh , Vietnam)
1993: “Gang of Five” Exhibition ( Hanoi, Vietnam)
Group Show ( Berlin, Germany)
1994: Painting Exhibition by Five artists (Turtle Key Arts Centre,
London, United Kingdom)
1996: Group Exhibition ‘Gang of Five” (La Vong Gallery, Hong Kong)
Group Exhibition ‘Rural Poetry” (Cicada Gallery, Singapore)
Group Exhibition (Fujita Vente Art, Japan)
1997: Group Exhibition ‘Vietnamese Young Artist” (Centre Wallonie
Bruxelles, Paris, France)
Group Exhibition “winding River- The Journey of Contemporary Art in Vietnam” (Meridian International Centre, Washington D.C., U.S.A.)
Group Exhibition ( Europe Art, Geneva, Switzerland)
Group Exhibition “ Asian Masterworks” (Palace of the Golden Horses- Mines Resort, Kuala, Malaysia)
Group Show ( Hong Kong)
1994: Exhibition ( Hanoi, Vietnam)
1995: Exhibition ( Substation Gallery, Singapore)
1997: Corner of Tranquillity” ( Hanoi, Vietnam)
“Realm of Enchantment’ ( Plum Blooms Galley, Hong Kong and Singapore)
- Museum of Fine Arts of Vietnam.
- Museum of Fine Arts of Singapore.
Hong Viet Dung does not create portraits of landscapes but rather mood-scapes. He concentrates on expressing his emotional and spiritual experiences rather than physical reality.
The world he portrays is often lonely; his canvasses feature ascetic, abstracted figures, set in stark, sombre environments. The figures, usually women, have a fluid, dream-like quality, and float like lost ghosts through landscapes of subdued earth tones that are almost monochromatic. Stripped of all ornament, these figures represent human suffering and endurance. Hong Viet Dung’s choice of colours reflects his long-term work with indigenous clay.
“Heritage , January-February 1998”
Born in 1962, Hong Viet Dung enjoys an important position within contemporary Vietnamese art. He first rose to prominence as part of the Gang of Five group of artists that also included Dang Xuan Hao, ha Tri Hieu, Tran Luong, and Pham Quang Vinh, which emerged in Hanoi during the late 1980s. In the recent years, Dung’s work, along with that of his colleagues, has gained increased international exposure following his participation in a series of group and solo shows in Europe, North America, and Asia.
In his recent exhibition of lacquer works and oil paintings in Hong Kong, Real of Enchantment, Dung once again presented his now signature quiet, dusty portraits of figures from traditional Vietnamese life.
Works such as Young Girl With Bird (1997), Boy with the Bird (1997), Praying at Twilight (1997) are typical of Dung’s oeuvre in their spare depiction of lone figures, frequently shown in profile, against generally softly colored, empty backgrounds. It is chiefly through these spare means that Dung generates the distinctive tone of his works that has proved so popular. In Young Girl With Bird the composition is dominated by the figure of a girl in traditional white Vietnamese dress who gazes at a small white bird, which she holds in her hand. The impression is of a gentle purity and perhaps a wishful longing for simpler times on the part of the artist.
While the majority of the works in this exhibition maintain this tone, several other examples depart from Dung’s standard formula. One of the most striking of these is the large oil on canvas work, Landscape (1997), which is perhaps one of only three or four works here, in which the figure is entirely absent. In common with his other compositions, Dung again concentrates on the sensation of calm and quiet but does so here in almost abstract fashion. Strongly recalling the shifting meditative works of contemporary Chinese painter Qiu Shihua, Hong suggests verdant forests and a stream, barely visible through a pale, heavy haze, using a minimum of color and form, As a marked departure from his familiar figurative works, this was a striking and very welcome addition to the show.
“Asian Art News”
e is an artist respected by his high professional skill and his adaptability to any circumstances. Dung attained this proficiency in his early manhood and his undergoes little change both in character and style. This is his strong point and at the same time his weak point, the result of some kind of hermetic art.
He persists in adopting two methods: The utmost simplicity in terms of figures and shapes and great profundity and expressiveness while portraying the real surface. He put emphasis on the self - existing plan, to such an extent that when viewing his pictures, people are under the impression that they are watching the method of drawing instead of admiring what has been actually drawn. That is the success of his emotive skills, the result of himself - knowledge according to the motto: “ Slow steps - steady steps”. His landscapes and still lives are originally expressed in tow directions: Either by partial realism (the main shapes and figure are painted realistically) while leaving the space free, or by drawing them levelly like a kind of purely structural painting Dung may cut a corner off a thing to paint it simply. This may be a town whose panoramic view shows only some roofs. Or two stacks of straw that occupy the whole surface and a few towering hills. Broken or coarse lines are lines are rejected. Figures and shapes are concisely converged to geometrical line before bring melted into the background ad in the case of tar dive Impressionistic style. Each painting has its own purely dominant colour, either wholly or wholly white, the other tints are secondary and soluble in a range of brighter colours. Dung’s landscapes are always depicted at dusk or drawn or at the moment of fog decent. Very likely, the greatest care is paid to its temperamental look.
Some others human images are dealt with by the same method. A young girl prominently standing out of on a plane surface is now and then highlighted like a paper cut furze. Overall, there is some touch of melancholy in Dung’s paintings. They sentimentally dreamy, citizen-like; seldom do they venture farther from “civilized practices” or exceed reality, yet the latter is constantly presented dimly and indistinctly.
“Young Artists of Vietnam”
Phan Cam Thuong, Art Critic.