Full of various and disparate truths and realities, the world is an environment constructed out of the unknown – a patchwork of seemingly incongruous parts. Out of the ether unfurl limitless creations of interpretation, growing and evolving through a combination of experience, action, reaction, situation and imagination: each unique and unpredictable. Visceral and Janus-faced, Between Two Mysteries presents the possibilities and confronts the viewer with connected yet divergent positions of perception.
Brilliant with colour, Hoang Duong Cam’s pieces from Lightning in U Minh Forest engage and dance on the canvas almost undulating before our eyes. Representative of lightning striking the southern Vietnamese forest revealing hitherto invisible images, the pieces function like Rorschach tests, and our minds scramble to make sense of it all, and they quickly begin to parse out images, beings, and scenes from the richly tinted shapes. None are there, and all are there. With no effort, our imagination begins its journey, creating a universe unknown to us before. We meet a psychedelic world of chimerical opportunities. The artwork is subject to our own creativity, and the longer we look, the more the images and the story within grows and develops a life of its own.
Conversely, Truc Anh’s pieces from Ink Kingdom strike with the brutal simplicity of black and white, ink and paper. Vivid images like the spectral portrait Noemie or the slightly twisted rib cage of Soul Archive #2 are recognisable objects placed on display and almost challenging the viewer with an inescapable virulent energy. But even they are not concrete and realistic. Each object is slightly off, blurred, or altered. A horror story of existence, malice seems to observe us from the canvases. The uneasiness seeps into our bones and spreads into the psyche; angst and morbidity make a home in our heads.
Seemingly juxtaposed against each other, the two parts exist on the same plane connected by a thin yet pivotal thread – both slightly warped and dream-like: one nightmarish the other transcendental. The pieces represent ways in which we experience our world. Through their abstract qualities, they allow themselves to be interpreted in as many ways as there are pairs of eyes that look upon them. But while one contains all of the things you want to believe, but aren’t quite true, the other is comprised of all the things you never wanted to see, but which exist and are stretched and exacerbated in the mind.
We strive to make sense of our world and glean an understanding of its ‘makeup’ and our ontological place within it. In our attempts to conceptualize our surroundings, our minds imprint upon the subjects our own idiosyncrasies, and the environs begin to take on their own form specific to each individual.
Together, the installation is an acid trip of revelations and the dark warehouse in which it takes place. The endless stories that can be written and read as the brain soaks up information and process it – our imagination in its purest and most active form, bubbling up and bursting outwards but also in step with the deepest, darkest recesses of the psyche. The dark corners filled with things unseen but sensed, which take control and become the structure of reality if allowed. True yet distorted, Between Two Mysteriesreflects the inner workings of our subconscious and provides a stage for them to perform in the open.
Level 2 151/3 Dong Khoi Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam