Hanoi to exhibit plastic toy art from Japan

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An art exhibition by internationally acclaimed art unit paramodel will open at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts in Hanoi February 17.

Held by the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, the exhibition  -- titlted "The Plastic Model of Paramodel is Paramodel" -- will display works made of plastic through March 11, according to a press release from the foundation last week.

The art unit paramodel was formed in 2001 by Hayashi Yasuhiko (Fine Arts Graduate from the Kyoto City University of Arts) and Nakano Yusuke (a Nihonga [Japanese-style painting] graduate from the same university). The city of Osaka, Japan honored the group with its Sakuya Konohana Award in 2008.

"The title [of the Hanoi show] is essentially a manifesto in sum fusing the words Paradise, Paradox, and Model. In addition, it plays upon the Japanese word Puramoderu (toy plastic dioramas)," says the release.

"Through elaborate combinations of plastic toy parts with other everyday objects, [the artists] attempt to create blueprints of Paradise whilst underscoring life's paradoxes. paramodel's expansive artworks range from massive, room-scaling installations, to mini-sculptures, with videos, drawing, and photography, and other media in between.

"They simply use toys and everyday objects which always invite viewers to feel back in their childhood and in ways that anyone, without any knowledge of art, can easily understand."

Through two weeks residency in Hanoi, the unit will cover the entire Japan Foundation house, 27 Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, with Japanese and Vietnamese toys and everyday objects to create their site-specific installation.

The Japanese artists will also conduct a workshop from 2 p.m. to 4.p.m at the university, 42 Yet Kieu Street, on Friday.

In the workshop, paramodel will explain how they create their works and participants will try their hand at creating "paramodelic" art. Admission is free but pre-registration is required for the workshop.

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