Culture Culture

11/08/2020 - 08:30

Hoang Dang Nghiem and his playing with colors

Being an architect who has a passion for painting, Hoang Dang Nghiem naturally involves himself in playing with colors with his own novel and original creativity.

The painter Hoang Dang Nghiem

His first exhibition named “Nghiem” at Secret Studio (Nguyen Cong Tru St., Hue City) surprises the public by his own different style of contemporary art. His paintings are breakthroughs in the combination of materials and colors which bring people strong emotions about the human life.

The most impressive are the works made of different materials on canvas. It is the old canvas used to protect structures being built. He brought it home, meticulously dyed and manipulated it to give it a new life. On that dark-colored canvas background, he adds barbed wire, hoes, spades, paper pinwheels, etc., creating a special visual effect.

His toss and turns and concerns about life can be seen through his touchable works such as “Breaking,” “No Treading,” “Childhood,” “Ruins,” etc. Through his paintings, one can recognize concerns and miseries but behind them are hope and belief expressed by colors or his handwriting symbols.

“No treading”

“My works are obsessions of the painful past in the history of our nation. They are about people in difficulty and poverty, unfortunate children, architectural ruins, etc. But  behind the sadness, loss and pain are aspirations for peacefulness and belief in a brighter future,” said he.

Hoang Dang Nghiem’s style is image-evoking. There is carving on his paintings. In his work “Life,” on the old canvas background, he adds a rake to refer to the hardship of the working man. Their clashes with life are expressed by iron sticks. But they are softened with the helping hand to people who fall.

“No Treading” and “The Child” are other obsessions. He condemns child abuse through the symbolism of a coat and a hat for the child. In “Ruins," he means to mention the loss of and the regret about beautiful structures which are now in ruin. 

Hoang Dang Nghiem got interested in painting as a child from his father, the painter Hoang Dang Nhuan, but he chose interior designing as a job. When he had settled down in Da Nang, he began to get into visual art 5 years ago and now he introduces his favorite “spiritual children.”

Far-away Flights 

As a teenager, watching his father's paintings, Hoang Dang Nghiem was influenced by his style. Later, when he experienced more in life, he found his own painting style.

Working with wood, iron, burlap, earth, etc., he felt emotion in them. He then brought them to his paintings. Nghiem’s paintings are made of common materials and thrown-away ones which he collects, then combines to his thinking.

Coming to painting just for fun, finding himself through brush strokes, then contemplating his self on tempting canvas, Hoang Dang Nghiem involves himself in painting stories after stressing hours. At first it was just like a way to release himself, but each painting, each brush stroke, each color layer soon became like pages of his meticulously-recorded diary. The more you go into his world, the more you sympathize with his ups and downs from his haunting roughness which he uses to express his inner part in his own way.

Story and photos: Trang Hien