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Wedeman Gallery Hosts Vietnamese Art Exhibit
April 2, 2012
This April, Lasell College will feature an exclusive exhibition featuring the work of two artists and scholars, experts in the ancient Vietnamese character writing system known as han nom. The Gang of Five: Vietnamese Contemporary Art, will be on display at the Yamawaki Art & Cultural Center's Wedeman Gallery at Lasell College from April 2 to 15. The exhibition will include a collection of over ten lithographs and ceramics, as well as ink and gouache images on both paper and silk. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
Le Quoc Viet and Nguyen Quang Thang are part of a group of five artists from Hanoi, Vietnam, known as the "New Gang of Five." These artists have spent many years studying the ancient and intricate style associated with han nom. Once the common written character language of Vietnamese, han nom was converted into the Romanized alphabet known as quoc ngu by French occupants during the 17th century. In 1919, the royal court deemed quoc ngu as the official written language of Vietnam and, as a result, only a select group of scholars and Buddhist monks are able to read the han nom today. The language's characters are still widely used to decorate Vietnamese homes and Buddhist pagodas.
The exhibition will feature a variety of han nom images from Le Quoc Viet and Nguyen Quang Thang, including Viet's wood block prints - one of the oldest traditional printmaking techniques - illuminating both past and present Vietnam. The exhibition will also showcase the artist's authentic ink images on paper and silk, and ceramics. Thang's lithographs, which were printed during his month-long residency at the Indonchina Arts Partnership in Wellesley in 2011, include ten black-and-white images hand-printed from aluminum plates onto Rives BFK rag paper. Each print is signed and titled by the artist and numbered in editions of ten.
The Gang of Five: Vietnamese Contemporary Art is part of the Yamawaki Art & Cultural Center's new initiative to bring more exhibitions to Lasell College for its students, faculty, staff and neighbors to enjoy. An opening reception will be held at the center on April 5th from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Local artist C. David Thomas will curate the exhibition and host a Gallery Talk on April 10th at 1:00pm. All events are free and open to the public. Thomas is the Founder and Director of the Indochina Art Partnership, as well as the key contributor to the organization's U.S.-Vietnam cultural and educational exchange programs.