Back Events Near Me » Mystical Topography Exhibition @ Annam Gallery

Mystical Topography Exhibition @ Annam Gallery

"I distinguish myself by doing things differently. Traditionally, people are accustomed to linear perspectives. As humans have now ascended into the sky, we must look downward to encapsulate a view that is vast, expansive, and encompassing. This is to break free from boundaries, to liberate from the confinements of the formal aspects of a painting,". Le Ba Dang (1921-2015) stands as one of the renowned modern Vietnamese artists who gained recognition in Europe in the latter half of the 20th century through a cross-disciplinary visual language system imbued with distinct individuality. Although he lived and practised far from his homeland, his works flourish from the Vietnamese roots, immersed with the Vietnamese identity, ,culture, and history. His practice is built upon meticulous and scientifically rigorous research, creating unique approaches and techniques in handmade paper production, including lithography, serigraphy combined with gilding technique termed "Lebadanggraphie," and collage and superimposition – mixing sculpture and bas-relief, to create elevated spatial compositions coined as "Spacegraphie." The latter technique inspired the curatorial concept of this exhibition. When observed from above, the artworks in the "Spacegraphie" series resemble topographical maps featuring various landscapes, simulating paddy fields, high mountains, or deep seas — an artistic means for the artist to reminisce about his childhood land. Le Ba Dang intricately combined sculptural and painting techniques to create relief engravings on the richly textured layers of specially crafted paper, thereby constructing spatial dimensions that are deep, abstract, and mysterious. Such interdisciplinarity propels "Spacegraphie" beyond the dichotomy of traditional Western painting-sculpture conventions, ushering in a refreshing form of hybrid art. Another significant curatorial thread lies in the mysticality of the lithograph series "Nature Prays Without Words" ("La Nature prie sans parole"), created in the late 1960s, drawing inspiration from the meditative essence found in Daodejing (道德經) by Lao Tzu. Le Ba Dang seemed to have encapsulated the original Daoist philosophy in abstraction, utilising subdued colours and luminous void in the background that radiates mystery and enchantment. The artist must have aimed to employ indeterminate forms as vocabularies to "enable us to discern and apprehend reality" as well as to reconnect us with the "original unity" and "fundamental nature." (Cernuschi Museum, France).

Exhibition dates: December 16 2023 to January 28 2024

Address: Annam Gallery | 371/4 Hai Ba Trung, Vo Thi Sau Ward, District 3, HCMC

Opening hours: Monday - Sunday | 9 am - 8 pm

Exhibition with entrance fee: 70,000 VND/person