Friday, December 29, 2006

Vietnamese Graffiti

Today I went over to the new Gallery of Modern Art at Southbank & wandered through the Fifth Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. My favourite pieces were Proposal for an imaginary Vietnamese landscape #1–3 and Spray It, Don't Say It by Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn:

Proposal for an imaginary Vietnamese landscape #1–3 2006, along with the video work Spray It, Don't Say It 2006, comment on the battle currently taking place on urban walls in Vietnam between socialist murals and posters (the only official public art) and fast-proliferating capitalist advertising. Nguyễn’s works also imagine and document the insertion of graffiti into the visual mix. Commissioned paintings of specific city locales are tagged with graffiti interventions; the short video documents the artist's exploration of nascent graffiti art practices in Vietnam, as well as the realisation of the project. Since the success of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat's graffiti-influenced paintings in the 1980s, the specific aesthetics of graffiti have been recognised within contemporary art. Most graffiti artists, however, paint not on canvas but on the skin of the city. Tuấn Andrew Nguyễn's project explores the current struggle in Vietnam's public city spaces between competing ideological and aesthetic worlds.
According to the art teachers interviewed in Spray It, Don't Say It, Vietnamese graffiti crews have stood on the shoulders of the western material they've seen in films and music videos and are yet to establish a uniquely Vietnamese style. The crews themselves lament this; one artist wondered aloud why so many of his pieces featured skyscrapers when he'd never seen one with his own eyes.

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Posted by Dean @ 12/29/2006 07:00:00 pm

...Survey says...


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