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Nguyen Dinh Vu

Born in the City of Thái Nguyên in 1980, Nguyen Dinh Vu is a contemporary Vietnamese artist with a fascination for the different ‘faces’ and persona we are in different contexts. He has been sculpting, painting, creating and experimenting with mixed media since receiving his undergraduate degree in 2008 and his Master’s degree from the Vietnam University of Fine Arts in 2013. His painting styles are many and varied. "I love and am passionate about painting. My journey to this point has been determined and deliberate. Painting is not only the breath of my life but also the language I use for expressing my emotions."

Recently, Nguyen Dinh Vu’s motif has been that of individuals with boxes over their heads. The idea came from an idle conversation with his daughter who was playing with cartons. When he asked her why she was putting cartons on her head, she responded that she was sitting and thinking quietly. Those words resonated with him and have influenced his work ever since. Individuals in Vu’s paintings vary, representing his contemporaries.

Each figure, as a motif, represents an individual’s response to the increasingly complex world, and how they stay connected to their roots and to themselves. Like many contemporary Vietnamese artists, Vu aims to combine the modern tools of art with traditional Vietnamese themes and imagery. His works often use relatively few base colors over which he creates detailed people and scenes with various shades of the same color. His use of blue, in particular, is reminiscent of fine porcelain, and the fragile detailing of all of his works also brings forward ideas of an extended moment in time, one millisecond stretched through eternity.

Nguyen Dinh Vu loves to explore ideas of juxtaposition within individuals. Good and bad, black and white, modernity and tradition, complexity and simplicity. As opposed to making statements on these dichotomies, Vu aims to spotlight them, and start the conversation around these intrinsically linked ideas. The depth and breadth of an individual life experience, and the depth and breadth of lives that are lived in the world are manifold – Vu understands this and starts a conversation with every intentional viewer of his art through his thematic pieces.

Internationally, his works have been exhibited in Amsterdam, China, the Philippines, Germany, Laos, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Cambodia, and now America. He had his first solo exhibition in 2015 in Hong Kong, and his work continues to grow with his experience. “All of my paintings explore and generate different answers to the same question, each painting in any individual series saying something that the others cannot”.

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