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Artist zooms in on life's many face (June 16, 2004)

Zen, oil on canvas, one of Le Thiet Cuong's works on display Hanoi.
For years, Hanoi born painter Le Thiet Cuong has established himself as an artist with a strong individual voice and a minimalist style. Now, the artist displays some new revelations at an exhibition entitled Facing at Thong Long Gallery in Hanoi.

His exhibition, which opened yesterday, features 37 oil paintings and three sculptures.

The exhibition brings Cuong's work full circle, with a touch of the old, and the new. The minimalism is unchanged, but the works are different. They are close-ups.

"Zooming brings an object closer, but also separates it from the crowd, letting it tell its own story," said the 42-year-old artist.

All of the subjects - including Buddhism, flowers, sleep and love - are painted as if seen from a zoom lens.

"Everyone has his own story. Every family has its own situation. The objects face each other to create contrast," Cuong said.

Unlike most leading Vietnamese artists, Le Thiet Cuong did not attend the Hanoi School of Fine Arts; he went to the Vietnam Cinema and Theatre College. He studied animation for three years between 1985-1990. He later studied Buddhism, and he produced a series of painting influenced by the teachings. His works have been displayed in various exhibitions in Vietnam, Italy, France, the UK, Belgium, Singapore and the US.

Facing is on display at Thang Long Gallery, 41 Hang Gai street, through June 25. (VNS)

Reprinted with permission from Nhan Dan Newspaper


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