Abstract art on show in HCMC hotel

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Rain in Sunlight, an abstract painting by artist Tran Van Thao

A special arts exhibition by Vietnam's leading abstract artist Tran Van Thao is being held at Ho Chi Minh City's Sofitel Saigon Plaza from Sep 26 to Nov 22.

The show presents works which reflect 15 years of the artist's creative practice.

Thao, one of Vietnam's pioneering abstract painters, makes art that celebrates the vagaries of life. Organizer Galerie Quynh says in in a press release: "From highly tactile works that appear like sculptural reliefs to sophisticated compositions with scumbled areas of paint, Tran Van Thao's oeuvre shows his skill and understanding of a complex genre of art."

"Constantly challenging his art making, Thao moves comfortably between styles and work methods. Whether he employs traditional oils on canvas or incorporates real objects and collage into his work, Thao is able to create paintings that engage his viewers emotionally and viscerally," Galerie Quynh says.

It quotes the artist as saying: "When we close our eyes, we see shadows of the infinite, disorientation, profound depth"¦ not just the literal meaning of shadows. And when we open our eyes, we see many things: sun and wind, air, objects, people"¦ This "˜eye-opening' moment could be at any time, in any mood, can "˜catch' any subject, can recall any atmosphere."

Born in 1961 in Saigon, Thao graduated from the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts University. He has held numerous exhibitions in Asia, Europe and the U.S. and his works are in public and private collections in Vietnam and abroad. In 2002 he was the recipient of the Asian Cultural Council's Starr Foundation Fellowship and spent four months as an artist-in-residence in New York.

Tran Van Thao lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.

Sofitel Saigon Palza is located on 17 Le Duan Boulevard, District 1, HCMC

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