“Sparkle in the Vastness” is one of the highlights of Almine Rech as it opened to the public in the first month of 2024 and is scheduled to last for more than a month through to February 24, 2024.
The exhibition is a new step in Tia-Thuy Nguyen’s professional artistic activities and also is a rare opportunity for a Vietnamese contemporary artist to be exclusively represented by a world-class gallery. The collaboration marks an important milestone in her artistic practice, demonstrating her professional stature on the international stage.
On the opening day of the exhibition, a large number of Parisian art fans, influential people in society and friends converged on Almine Rech to congratulate Tia-Thuy Nguyen. Among them were Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, grandson of artist Pablo Picasso, philanthropist, author and heir to ownership of Picasso’s works, Almine Rech, founder of Almine Rech Gallery, Dinh Toan Thang, Vietnamese Ambassador to France, Martin Rama, former Chief Economist of World Bank Vietnam, Eva Nguyen Binh, president of the French Institute, Vanessa Tubino, treasurer of the Principality of Monaco Expatriate Club, Mara Hoberman, art historian and researcher of Joan Mitchell Catalog Raisonné (Paris), along with media workers.
The exhibition is held in a minimalist space with white walls to highlight the works. Visitors spent a lot of time admiring the artworks, talking and exchanging with the pieces’ author about her passion for art, creative inspiration and techniques of drawing, embroidery and beading.
Recognition of Tia-Thuy Nguyen’s talent by Almine Rech
2023 marked Tia-Thuy Nguyen’s diligent and active activities in France and Europe when she continuously participated in a number of exhibitions such as Floating in the Nothingness and Flower of Life. It all made a strong impression on Almine Rech, the French businessman and artist who founded Almine Rech Gallery, one of the leading art galleries in the world, and co-founded FABA (Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso), an organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of Pablo Picasso and maintaining an extensive archive of his works.
With more than 20 works on display, Tia-Thuy Nguyen brought a visual feast to viewers as she continued to ‘play’ with diverse materials. Although she was classically trained in Western painting, Tia Thuy Nguyen always wanted to incorporate into her practice the Asian spirit that rose her up. Loving and appreciating craftsmanship, she has spent years learning and pursuing traditional embroidery and applique techniques to turn them into her own unique painting language.
“Sparkle in the Vastness” continues her creative inspiration for clouds, from the stories of her father – a former Air Force pilot – once told about flying through majestic clouds. Fascinated by the mysterious and extremely clear beauty of the clouds, Tia-Thuy Nguyen formed a deep sympathy as well as a deep concern with the clouds and the light. Naturally, they enter her works, in the shapes, in the layers of materials and even in the somewhat dramatic way of handling light, opening up magnificent scenes.
From the story of her father’s air force pilot career, personal life experiences to reflections in harmony with the book “My way: The way of White Clouds”, Osho (1975), Tia-Thuy Nguyen found layer upon layer of clouds of her own emotions – sometimes vastness and desolate, sometimes brightness and hopeful.
A special experience for Parisian art connoisseurs
“Sparkle in the Vastness” made viewers go from one surprise to another. That is how Tia-Thuy Nguyen refines and demonstrates new composition techniques. She develops the composition of the work using different shades of paint, then ‘paints’ over them using a variety of craft techniques. The combination of countless sparkling beads, thousands of meters of colorful wool fibers combined with jute and bamboo fabrics has created vivid, brilliant scenes. The embossing, or intertwining, of the materials brings a sparkling effect that is extremely harmonious on the surface of the work. Not only that, the overlapping of layers of materials, creating a common landscape but at the same time partially obscuring each other, evokes associations with the stories and emotional experiences compressed by the artist during the process form the work.
Tia-Thuy Nguyen’s use of warm colors with bright, vibrant, and somewhat spontaneous colour schemes was inspired by the Hang Trong folk painting genre. The skillful application of the spirit of folk art genres is a ‘special talent’ helping Tia-Thuy Nguyen form a very personal, very Vietnamese artistic portrait when her works stand alongside international artists.
Present at the “Sparkle in the Vastness” exhibition, many friends, colleagues and art lovers gave compliments to Tia-Thuy Nguyen. “When I first saw Tia-Thuy Nguyen’s sky paintings, I was immediately captivated by her ability to structure and imagine the space around us: the sky. The sky in different atmospheric regions, the sky from dusk to dawn, or at night. I would love to know about her passion for these paintings. Her work conveys both the beauty and awe of the sky; shows patience in the process of creating the work, taking a lot of time to embellish the oil paintings on canvas with beads, the work expresses emotions such as love, fear and hope in the long days waiting for a soldier or hoping to return from war,” said Almine Rech.
The well-acclaimed exhibition at Almine Rech in France showed Tia-Thuy Nguyen’s unique position in the world of contemporary art. Besides, viewers cannot deny her affection and great contributions to the journey of preserving and developing traditional crafts and Vietnamese folk arts.