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Artist portrays childhood dream

Bang's world of art is highly symbolic in its suggestions about the mysteries of the universe. His paintings are usually dominated by child-like figures, each wearing a pair of dice at the neck like a seal or mark.

A good example of this is the work Yellow Autumn in which the dice not only dangle from the main character's neck but also swing in the air.

This suggests that destiny is tantamount to a game in which each person is moved each time the dice are cast.

The female figure in the painting lacks a neck or arms, indicating imperfection in man's comprehension of the world.

The presence of the yellow leaf, a motif seen in most of his works, reminds us of the passage of time and the ephemerality of life.

"Childhood is made of the initial years of our lives," Bang says.

"In fact, it is everlasting in memory, sub-conscious and dreams.

"The early years are a long dream and drawing the childhood is to tell a dream in a dream. It has a large range of artwork related with the childhood."

But there are almost no more reflections of society. The early days are focused on wooden horses and little girls in various postures whose dresses are sewn of leaves and skirts woven of reeds.

Bang, 48, was born in Quang Tri Province, and studied Music and Arts at the Hue College of Arts in 1986-89.

He is not a prolific painter but has held several solo and group exhibitions in Vietnam as well as places like Hong Kong, Singapore and the US.

According to friend Dang Tien, Bang learnt drawing by himself and so does not follow any rules or style.

His paintings too do not follow common rules and are, instead, like folk paintings though with original colours and compositions, flexible and modern, with personal traits and rich decorations.

The exhibition at Phuong Mai Gallery, 129B Le Thanh Ton Street, will run until February 28.

(Source: VNS)

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