Nghia Dang's multi-media practice conveys an inherent theatricality, though far from that of a boastful, spectacular kind. Understated in expression, Dang's works draw the viewer into strange, disorientating scenes that compel one to rethink the familiar.
The artist uses psychoanalytical ideas, and in particular the Lacanian approach, as a tool to traverse what he calls 'the ruin within himself', making sense of his experiences, relationships and, perhaps most salient of all, how the self is constructed. The artworks alternate between visceral iterations of reality and the imaginary realm to recount stories, often of emotional tumult.
His earlier works, made from objects and materials found in our daily lives and surrounding infrastructure, such as cardboard and chocolate, or concrete and steel, navigate the contradictions of the family home, and within it the tethers between father-mother-son. On his endless journey to unravel these ropes, he steers towards the immediacy of graphite on paper as if to forge a link with the subconscious. Yet, as his works delve deeper into the recesses of the mind, the artist refrains from dramatising the uncertainties, and instead presents them as a shared opportunity for introspection.
Nghia Dang (b. 1994, Hanoi) was awarded the Distinguished Scholarship (2015-2018) from the Art Institute of Chicago, USA where he earned his BFA in Studio Art. He has participated in group exhibitions in Vietnam and the US, including Lunar Breccia and Encounter, Galerie Quynh, Ho Chi Minh City; Spring Galeria, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City; Duc Rong/Lap Day, Nha San Collective, Hanoi; -Ology, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL, USA; and Race Car, Race Car, Z1 Gallery, Chicago, IL, USA. In 2018, the Dang held a solo exhibition titled Scenes of the Imago at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, and in 2020 was selected as a Season 3 resident at A. Farm, an international art residency founded by San Art, MoT+++ and the Nguyen Art Foundation. He is currently teaching Art and Art History at Hoa Sen University.
Dang lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City.
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