Each work created by the ve artists featured in this book points to an essence, as in the expression of the artist’s being.
“Essence,” however, also connotes permanence and constancy, stemming from a singular essential source. How do we account for the differences between the series, times, works, mediums, and themes by the same artist? What is left of an essence if it is always changing?
It is over a number of works that each of these artists projects, nonetheless, an essence-even as we perceive dynamics and tensions, moods and expressions, and evolving themes in di erent works and series. We encounter the essence of each artist as an individual, by engaging not just a singular revelation or any speci c moment, but partaking in the evolutions and trajectories that occur over time.
This book intends to present five such artists through their recent and some of their earlier works. The five artists are Ho Chi Minh City- based Nguyen Trung (b. 1940), Do Hoang Tuong (b. 1960), and Nguyen Son (b. 1974) and Hanoi-based Tulip Duong (b. 1959), and Ly Tran Quynh Giang (b. 1978). This is the same group featured in the first Vietnamese artist group exhibition in Venice during the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.
The publication of this book coincides with the close of the Biennale. This book, however,
is not intended as a post-Venice publication. Rather, it is a detailed presentation of the works of the five artists. Their works presented at Venice are also included as highlights, and in the context of their oeuvre.