lifestyle • 02 Feb, 2015
Interview: Painter Lieu Nguyen Dreams In Dots
Artist’s Feline Inspired First Solo Saigon Show
Saigon-based artist Lieu Nguyen Huong Duong dreams in dots. His new solo show is a beautiful mish-mash of disparate iconography that drifted through his unconscious mind, and it just opened at the Craig Thomas Gallery.
There’s a blue-eyed rendering of a Van Gogh self-portrait. There’s an imposing Mona Lisa. And, of course, there’s a cat - the most ubiquitous of internet animals.
The artist was born in the year of the cat - felines delivered to the world that year are characteristically giving and generous - and here he gifts us his paint-splattered visions (and even the shoes worn while making them).
Lieu Nguyen’s pointillist portraiture falls somewhere between dot-obsessed Seurat and the expressive all-over-the-canvas artworks of artists like Pollock, “Normally I would tell everyone that my artworks follow an action painting style,” the artist begins.
Artwork: Dream Cat 1
What’s the process of creating these art works?
Lieu Nguyen: The process happened over 4 months. During that period, I developed some ideas that were meaningful to me. I'm deeply in love with art and the outdoors, so I occupied myself painting nature, or figures that I love such as Van Gogh or the Mona Lisa.
Which one painting do you feel best represents your work?
In this gallery, the largest, and my favourite one, is ‘Spring’ because it typifies my style. Although it's an abstract painting, people should still feel a strong sensation of that season.
How do you hope people react to your paintings?
I'm confident that I've put all of my heart into these works and I hope people can feel that, and they react positively to it.
What’s the strangest dream you’ve ever had?
Haha, I've never thought about that. I do consider myself a romantic person, so they’re often joyful and filled with romance.
As you know, I was born in the year of cat. To mark my ten years out of art school, the cat,
as you can see, is on a journey. That’s my journey. And the cat’s flexible, gentle characteristics are my characteristics.
How is this exhibition different to what you have done before?
In the past, I organised several exhibitions in Singapore. This is my first one-man show here in Vietnam and I’ve made some changes. For example, the artworks are bigger, and I’ve devoted more time and effort into ‘This Cat Dreams in Color’ than ever.
Finally, where do you see the future of art in Vietnam going?
I hope that the art market in Vietnam will grow substantially and painters, like me, can hold more exhibitions here.
Check out photos from the exhibition 'This Cat Dreams in Color’ launch below:
Taking a closer look at Lieu Nguyen's work
Artwork: Dream Cat 16
Artwork: Dream Cat 2 & 6
The opening's over
Lieu Nguyen ‘This Cat Dreams in Color’
Craig Thomas Gallery
27i Tran Nhat Duat Street
Tan Dinh Ward, District 1
23rd Jan - 22nd February 2015
Craig (+84 90 388 84 31) or Mai (+84 908878317)
Words by David Kaye & Stephanie
Photos by KyAnh