Featuring 200 pieces created in a range of mediums, the exhibition at NUS Museum reconsiders the Dato’ N. Parameswaran collection of Vietnam War era artworks in terms of the artists and their will to express a personal regard, drawn from conviction, ambivalence, and circumspection.
Hailing from diverse backgrounds, many of the North Vietnamese artists served as guerrilla artists in Vietnam’s two resistance wars. Despite being tasked to communicate a common struggle and to uplift morale, many of them stepped beyond the battlefield and notions of collective purpose to assert their creativity within the theatre of a seemingly endless conflict around them.
The artists’ works can also be seen as continuities of the struggle for the modern in periods of political and social disruption. Set against the backdrop of anti-colonial movements, these visual records brought together encounters with French, Chinese and Soviet artistic and political ideas, providing unique insights into the artists’ responses to the complicated relationships between art and propaganda.
Through the drawings, woodcuts, posters and paintings presented, these broader contexts permeate the exhibition, mediated by individual artistic approaches that adapted to the exigencies of content. Created between 1953 and 1992, the works indicate a diversity of formal emphases and sensibilities, articulated in the lines, colours and forms, and ranging across various media specificities.
In particular, the works of eight major artists will be placed under the spotlight. They include: Huyuh Phuong Dong (1925-2015), Pham Luc (1943-), Nguyen Thanh Chau (1933-2012), Huy Toan (1930-2007), Pham Thanh Tam (1932-), Huynh Van Thuan (1921-2017), Le Tri Dung (1949-) and Van Da (1928-2008).
Venue: NUS Museum, NX1 Gallery
When: 8 Oct 2019 - 1 Jun 2020,