Dinh Cong Dat

Dinh Cong Dat was born Hanoi, Vietnam in 1966 and graduated from the Hanoi Fine Art University in 1994 with a B.A. in sculpture. He is an artist who combines his talents as a skilled craftsman with his creative and perceptive mind. “For the past 30 years of working and living with art, I have always been enchanted with the beauty of little and ordinary things. For me personally, art is the affections, the ordinary things that surround us in our everyday life.” Dinh Cong Dat’s philosophy throughout his artist career is that art does not have to be serious; it is about exploration; appreciating small and commonplace things and elevating them to consciousness through his artistic practice.

Emerging in the generation of sculptors of the late 90’s in Vietnam, Dat was introduced and presented in a significant exhibition titled “New Space” at the National Fine Arts Museum, which opened the important transformation of cubist language and modern space to the Vietnamese sculptural scene. Over the years, Dat’s sculptures have always been filled with improvisation, humor, sophistication and diversity along with a fresh

spirit. Dat is a pioneer - discovering new material and daring to try new things; his work ever changing. He is never satisfied with the familiarity and tediousness of traditional creativities and often depicts animals, insects and human forms in unique and thought-provoking ways.

Dat has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions including at the Fielding Lecht Gallery in Austin, Texas; the Bankside Gallery in London, England; the Biennale in Liverpool City, England, and the Iskandar Gallery in Paris, France. Additional international exhibitions include New York, Dubai, Beijing, Portland, Tokyo and Seoul. In Vietnam, his works have been shown in sculptural exhibitions at the Vietnam Fine Art Museum in Hanoi and the Ho Chi Minh City Museum. He has also participated in numerous artist residencies (London, Paris, New York, Beijing, Seoul, Vietnam).

Dat’s talents are not limited to creating three dimensional objects. His career includes significant contributions as the Art Director for numerous theatre, ballet, concert, fashion, and corporate launches. Additionally, he is well known for his stage and scene designs for Vietnamese TV shows. He has led and participated in numerous construction design projects and many artistic and technical consulting projects for hospitals, resorts, hotels, high-end retail stores, etc. Dinh Cong Dat is retained by Hermes to design and create their store front displays in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and has large sculptural pieces at many premier resorts and hotels in the country.

For Dinh Cong Dat, art (and his joy) lies in the conceptualization and creation of his work, not in the culmination of his acts or the final tangible product. Art to him is the thinking, process, experimentation and celebration associated with the production of the art rather than the artwork itself. In Dat’s view, “creativity lies not in the done, but in the doing”. What truly excites and brings meaning for Dat is working thoughtfully, meticulously and persistently.

“The subject, the size and material don’t really matter. It is the thought process and the manual process of creating that is the art.” His view, contrary to conventional thought, is that the topic, the materials, the techniques and the process (at least to the artist) are the art. The finalized works of art (present in museums and exhibitions and judged and critiqued by art critics) provides the platform for others to discuss the subject matter which includes the process, the historical context and the artists motivation.

“I’ve always appreciated Dat’s creative genius. With “Paper & Glue,” our most recent solo exhibition of Dinh Cong Dat’s work, Dat has again showcased his own artistic identity: a person with deep knowledge of traditional craft and technique with the perceptive mindset of a contemporary artist.” Karen Thomas

As mentioned above, Dat is retained by Hermes to design and create their store front displays in Vietnam. The image shown was taken in the gallery garden during his trip to Japan in 2014 while he was participating in their world-wide conference.

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