The ‘Ego-Humankind’ Exhibition, dedicated to artist Ngo Xuan Binh (born in 1957), displays over 200 lacquer and oil paintings, accompanied by more than 100 sculptures made of bronze, stone, and wood. The exhibition is one of the events of the Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2022.

Artist Ngo Xuan Binh. Photo: Trang Trang

The largest work on display is a wooden sculpture weighing over 4.5 tons. A combination of traditional and contemporary art forms, the event started on November 18, 2022, and is expected to last until March 2023 at the Hanoi Museum.

The message of the ‘new-era city’: towards beauty

The exhibition aims to vividly convey a message: The Vietnamese city in the new era is the city of beauty sought by the community. Nguyen Tien Da, Director of the Hanoi Museum, said that the exhibition is designed with multiple dimensions: living space, green space, service space, socializing space, and labor organizing space.

This is not merely a display of artworks but also a space for installation art, interactive art, and energy fields that provoke viewers’ thoughts and emotions.

To prepare for this exhibition of architecture, painting, and sculpture with the theme of urbanism in this new era, artist Ngo Xuan Binh and his team had to work so hard for more than 20 days, creating the largest exhibition ever at both the indoor and outdoor spaces of Hanoi Museum in Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi.

The indoor space of the ‘Ego-Humankind’ Exhibition by artist Ngo Xuan Binh at Hanoi Museum in Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi

The artist shared, “When visiting the exhibition, viewers will notice the multi-dimensional macro-scale sculptures as well as frescoes and digital light illusions with grandiose sizes, conveying the hope for a greater new-era city of Vietnam.”

“My team and I wish to bring the most authentic visual urban art exhibition to the public,” he told The Hanoi Times.

“Urban art is by nature always changing and promoting creativity. No one can hear the sound of time, and no one can smell the scent of time, but perhaps we can all feel its vividness from the depths of our hearts,” he stated.

“Urban art is human-centered, expressing original passions. This way, people renew themselves and create present and future values,” the artist added.

The artist’s worldview

The impressive outdoor space of the exhibition. Photo: Jenna Duong

In previous exhibitions, namely “Du & Doi” or Travel and Resound in 2017 and “Niem” or Chanting in 2019, Ngo Xuan Binh led the art-loving public in the capital city from one surprise to another. Now with “Ego-Humankind”, Ngo Xuan Binh presents an artistic challenge to viewers and himself.

Many people believe that the artist is obsessed with the philosophies of life, and he brings it into his works in which there is no concern for fame and profit.

At this year’s exhibition, he made labor the main subject of the creative space. From his viewpoint, creative labor is never about possession, destruction, domination, or conceit.

Instead, it’s about recognition and acceptance of differences and respect for the sake of balance and equality.

It takes humanity thousands of years to form an ego. And yet a few decades, even just a few years – in which human beings get lost are enough to erase the unique cultural cohesion of a region or ethnic group.

It may include a craft village, customs, architecture, farming methods, religions, or genetic resources. This is also the spiritual message in Ngo Xuan Binh’s sculptures and paintings.

An artwork by Ngo Xuan Binh is on display the exhibition

Reverberation among Hanoi capital’s viewers

Throughout his exhibitions, Ngo Xuan Binh always provides viewers with works focusing on the spiritual concepts of tradition and modernity, hoping to help them realize that the world is always really peculiar, full of love and novelties.

Painter Nguyen Manh Duc, alias Stilt-House Duc, shared that Ngo Xuan Binh gave him a great surprise with each exhibition.

“Visiting his two previous exhibitions, I found that Ngo Xuan Binh’s energy was so enormous that he could complete such a large amount of work. In the flow of art, he advances calmly to conquer the demanding audience, difficult fellow painters, and even those who didn’t understand him before. Over time, Ngo Xuan Binh became an indispensable part of the country’s creative flow.”

“I hear a lot about the cultural industry and autonomy in the new era. The image of Ngo Xuan Binh and his works of art is an example of the autonomy and cultural industry. Without this self-reliance, we would only dream of the cultural industry,” painter Nguyen Manh Duc emphasized.

Visitors to the exhibition are admiring an outstanding artwork by artist Ngo Xuan Binh

Artist Ngo Xuan Binh is renowned for his colossal works on medicine and martial arts. Many call him a “wonderful man” because of his mastery of painting, poetry, music, medicine, and martial arts.

Now only founded Nhat Nam school of martial arts in 1983, he also received the Nikolay Pirogov prize and medal for “great and special” contributions to the cause of international medicine (2007), before being conferred the title of Professor of Traditional Medicine by Russian Association of Folk Medicine (2010).

Since 1991, Ngo Xuan Binh has held two solo exhibitions in Minsk and three others in Moscow.

In 2005, he was voted Painter of the Year by Russian and American newspapers. One year later, he won the  Excellent prize at the Artiada International Festival of General Arts in Moscow.

In 2010, he became one of the two people bestowed the title of Honorary Member by the Russian Academy of Arts.

Highly appreciating his artworks as well as his creativity, Director Nguyen Tien Da of Hanoi Museum expected that, with the grandeur of an exhibition space covering 3,000 square meters as well as optical illusions based on digital technology, the Ngo Xuan Binh’s messages would reach an even broader spectrum of art lovers.