"LOONG KOONG" - A reflection of contemporary Vietnamese culture and society

Artworks information.

Ceramics is a traditional ancient material and has spread widely throughout human civilizations. As Susan Kooi said “Human history is often told through ceramics*”, the variety of earthen substances as well as ceramic processing techniques over space and time has made pottery a witness to the vivid history of the world and human development. However, ceramics have always been associated with handicraft traditions. Only in recent years, through the debates between art and craft, between 'high art' and 'low art', have new variations and revivals flowed from ceramics and new craft materials. creating changes for the contemporary art scene. “Loong Koong” originated from a surprising encounter between artist Trinh Vu Hieu and artist Bui Quoc Khanh. For Bui Quoc Khanh, he first approached pottery as a learner - a player - an experimenter; As for Trinh Vu Hieu, with his experience and accumulated knowledge for many years, he is both a teacher - archiver - storyteller.  Their relation and collaboration are symbolized in the two parts Loong and Koong of the exhibition space – as a metaphor for Tradition – Transition – Contemporary, all intertwined and non-linearly intertwined in time, space and non-hierarchy.


What binds and motivates Trinh Vu Hieu and Bui Quoc Khanh is probably their strong love and passion for folk and traditional materials, as well as big questions about national identity and history. Through two seemingly very different worldviews, traditional values ​​or folk inspirations are richly and diversely expressed in a series of 48 works by the artists. If Trinh Vu Hieu remained faithful to the motifs of ceramic vases and the aesthetic of Hang Trong paintings, with Bui Quoc Khanh, he sought to remove the basic shapes of the vases as well as combine them with other elements, materials and special effects to create entirely new expressions for characters that seem all too familiar to those of the modern world. “Loong Koong” is a reflection of the context of contemporary Vietnamese culture and society where the conflicts between the past, present, and future between old and new values ​​are creeping and persisting in parallel. Above all, these conflicts and contrasts do not create too great contradictions and fractures, but instead, concerns with the current times are also transformed in a very subtle, delicate and humorous way in an elegantly peaceful manner.


*Susan Kooi, Yamatai Koku, (Heijningen, Lonely Planet & Jap Sam Books, 2017), p.12

You may also like