Nguyen Minh Nam
Nguyen Minh Nam was born in Bac Ninh, Vietnam in 1978 and graduated from the Vietnam University of Fine Art in 2008. “Most of my paintings are about culture and depict the conflict and confusion between traditional and modern practices in contemporary Vietnam. Drawing transparent figures over traditional scenes is my attempt to show an emptiness or void in a penetrating way. By bringing both the old and the new together, I hope to raise questions about the changes in morality in contemporary society. To balance the yin and yang in pictures, some details in my painting, often faces and hands, are opaque. Some characters in my paintings are depicted in black and white, symbolizing previous generations – they are simple, rustic, discreet and honest, symbolizing a dedication to a spiritual life. Modern transparent colorful figures symbolize modern life and future generations. Their actions, postures and thoughts seem to be in contrast to previous generations.
Choosing to be an artist has its difficulties. For me, it is a serious profession. I hope to be able to stay true to myself continuing to be creative and sharing my messages and questions with my viewers. Two factors have been the primary driving forces in moving forward and putting my art in the public eye. First, I want to continue to closely observe and record subtle changes in how life is lived and changing, especially how it effects the culture of Vietnam. Second, I do not want to praise or criticize cultures of the past, present or future since they all have their pros and cons – I simply want to present.”