Breeze on the river: Tran Van Thao

19 March - 29 April 2022

Galerie Quynh is pleased to present Breeze on the river - the much-anticipated solo exhibition of new work by Tran Van Thao. This is Tran's sixth major solo exhibition at the gallery coming five years after his last solo show 'the line' (2017). In each of his exhibitions with the gallery, with the first held 22 years ago, Tran continues to create surprising abstract compositions inspired by the world around him.


In this new series Tran has eschewed the heavily built up areas of cut canvas, papier-mâché, gauze, and a sundry of humble objects that were prominent in previous works. The new paintings have none of the tactile, sculptural elements that existed in the past; rather, they are expansive works that emphasize the potential of the flat picture plane. Though deceptively simple, these paintings have been built up over many layers -  each new layer obscuring elements from the previous in a process of simplification, reduction and resolution - condensing the surface to retain only the most essential elements. While these hidden layers may be imperceptible in some works, their presence lingers and is suggested through the saturated colors of each canvas. Writing about his new works, Tran states, "The wind is around us but we can't see it and yet it exists."


Breeze on the river comprises some of Tran's most ambitious paintings to date with numerous works measuring 3 meters in width. Tran was compelled to work horizontally on his studio floor bringing a different perspective and physical engagement with his canvases. Tran did not regard the paintings with a clear orientation from the outset; instead, by working around the canvases from every side, he created works with much more fluidity in their directionality - somewhat akin to the river that is their reference point.

Installation Views