Tuan’s art portrays ladies in red

Thread bare: A painting in the latest Red Thread series of Saigon-based artist Bui Tien Tuan, to be shown at an exhibition at Craig Thomas Gallery from October 3.

HCM CITY (VNS)— The Saigon-based artist Bui Tien Tuan has taken a new turn with his latest Red Thread series, appropriating the traditional medium of do (poonah) paper with ink and watercolours.

“Floating in empty spaces dominated by the rough texture of the do paper, the women in in his collection recline, crouch and cavort in mid-air or over an invisible bed,” a press release from the Craig Thomas Gallery says about the new work.

Tuan says this is a return to the origins of his career as he was at young age renowned for his do paper works, according to the gallery.

Tuan has been strongly influenced by the Japanese form of wood block painting known as Ukiyo-e, and the paintings of Red Thread echo the influence of this traditional Japanese art form.

“Different to silk which has a finer and softer look, do paper gives the Red Thread paintings uneven surfaces that hint at the real, stronger quality of actual skin with pores, fine hairs, and other small imperfections,” according to the gallery’s curator.

“In varying states of undress, there is a red thread in their delicate hands which spins around their semi-extended bare legs or their beautifully formed torsos. The facial features of Tuan’s women are sometimes visible and sometimes hidden by their hair or an averted gaze, allowing us to fantasize about their identity,” the press release said. “For Tuan, the ever-present Red Thread is a line that links the viewer to his labyrinthine world of poetic sensuality.”

His solo exhibition of new ink and watercolour paintings on do paper will take place at Craig Thomas Gallery, 27i Tran Nhat Duat Street, District 1, HCM City, from October 3-23. — VNS

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