Relationship of mind, body and physical environment shown in art

‘Mind, Flesh, Matter’, a group exhibition featuring painting, photography, installation and video by artists Le Phi Long, Lai Dieu Ha, and Nguyen Van Du, opened at San Art yesterday.

The exhibition presents the relationship between mind, body and the physical environment that Long, Ha and Du have discussed and made in Session 4 of ‘San Art Laboratory’.

The idea is depicted in photographic snapshots taken by Du in his regular visits to an abattoir on the outskirts of Saigon. Above his oil-paint spattered studio floor, these pinned images of animal flesh being violently torn apart are amongst color photocopies of painted similar scenes of death by celebrated artists such as Francesco de Goya or Francis Bacon.

He believes painting to be the first medium in the history of art, so he wants to command its language as a tool of human documentation. His large-scale canvases, thick with gestures of oil in red and pink his brush like the knife that has killed, reveal a controlled horror in slaughter.

Long expresses the related relationship with images of crocodiles that once pervaded its swampy waters and drawn on the floor as if they are emerging from the studio walls. Long also uses his own body in photographs to talk about the endangered presence in the pollution of a nature reserve in Can Gio.

Long’s use of materials is central to this ensuing body of works, in which metal is molded to depict human wounds. Working with sculpture, photography, performance and drawing, his practice subtly refers to the trauma of industrialized societies.

Meanwhile, Ha set up her studio like a kind of doctor’s office with scientific images of human brain activity hung alongside painterly renderings of the same on glass and canvas. Ha’s fascination with the brain is connected to her experiments with psychodrama therapy, often turning her studio into a quasi-confessional space for visiting patients and scientists.

Ha takes her performance practice one step further by delivering visualizations of her emotional experiences of observing and participating inside such a stage which includes a large-scale sculptural installation of the brain as an enveloping machine and video documentation of interviews with guest artists, patients and scientists questioning ideas of psychology and the various treatments of associated illnesses.

The exhibition is on until August 7 at San Art, 3 Me Linh Street in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District.

Source: Saigontimes

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