Hanoi showcases Venus in Vietnam

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An exhibition of late-great Vu Dan Tan's sculptural installation work entitled "Venus in Vietnam," and recent pieces by Nguyen Nghia Cuong, opened at Hanoi's Goethe Institute on October 4.

According to press release for the event, the artworks examine female iconography and sexuality while the ten-day exhibition compares and contrasts the works of two Hanoi artists a generation apart and explores the social and cultural contexts of late-20th century and early-21st century Vietnam.

This year marks the third anniversary of Vu Dan Tan's death.

Tan is considered one of the leading artists of Vietnam's post-Doi Moi (economic reforms enacted in the late 80s and early 90s) scene and the show is curated by Lola Lenzi in collaboration with Natasha Kraevskaja.

Lenzi is a frequent curator of Tan's work.

"Venus in Vietnam" features works by Tan (1946 -2009) that have never been shown in Vietnam, including delicate cardboard suits and miniature installations of female figures in glass-lidded cigarette boxes.

 "Vu Dan Tan whose multi-media cross-disciplinary practice broke new ground in the 1980s with its conceptual and playful use of found materials, is now recognized as a pioneer of the Vietnamese and Southeast Asian contemporary avant-garde," according to a statement from the Goethe Institute.

Artist Nguyen Nghia Cuong (b. 1973), a graduate of Vietnam Fine Arts University, now mid-career, is known for his ironic approach to contemporary reality, dominated by consumerism and brand-culture. In his recent series Beauty High Quality, he "continues his investigation of the intersection of popular culture, advertising and consumerism, with life and society."

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Goethe Institute is organizing an art talk formatted as "a lively conversation between Nguyen Nghia Cuong, Hanoi-based curator, writer, lecturer, and Salon Natasha Director Natalia Kraevskaia, and curator, critic and lecturer Lola Lenzi."

The artist and two curators will have a conversation about the current exhibition and more broadly the theme of gender and sexuality in Vietnamese and Southeast Asian contemporary art. The panel will open the discussion to the public at 6:30 p.m. on October 5.

Goethe-Institute Hanoi is located on 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Ba Dinh District. Admission is free.

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