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RED
A painting show with Henry Codax, Vương Tử Lâm, Olivier Mosset
Curated by Frederic Dialynas Sanchez & The Observatory HCMC
Saigon/Shanghai/Fujiyoshida

This project is a follow-up of the Red exhibition (organised by Bob Nickas in New York in 1986), which gathered works of art and promoted their autonomy free of the curator’s voice. The colour red was a pretext, the only commonality among the different artworks (mostly painting and sculptures). It was thus possible to look at the works for what they simply were.

For historians of modern art, the monochrome painting is the most radical subject matter as far as abstraction is concerned, and today it remains a means of resistance against the world of images. But how should one look at and see a monochrome in the context of a country in which this type of painting has no real presence, where the colour red is omnipresent in tradition and in everyday life?

In Vietnam and China, it is evident the colour represents communism and the national flag, used by governments to spread propaganda. But for the people, it also is a symbol of joy, enthusiasm and luck, and even a symbol of death and the spirits. In Japan, in Shinto and Buddhist folklore, the colour red is used to protect oneself from demons and illness. It is associated with healing, birth and longevity. It is also the colour of the rising sun, and thus, red is constantly hostage to these symbols.

For artists who practice it, however, monochrome painting is a means to neutralise colour, to show it as it really is, at its purest, free from any reference or concept. If one considers monochrome in its most radical form, it is a painted layer deprived of any style, it is an art of the artist’s humility in favour of the painting itself.

  

RED, The Observatory, Saigon, 2014 (Photo: Wei Chan)

  

RED, Bazaar Compatible Program, Shanghai, 2014 (Photo: DeYi Studio)

  

RED, Bazaar Compatible Program, Shanghai, 2014 (Photo: DeYi Studio)

  

RED, Ice Factory, Fujiyoshida, 2015 (Photo: François Nanjo Shunsuke)

  

RED, Ice Factory, Fujiyoshida, 2015 (Photo: François Nanjo Shunsuke)

  

RED, Ice Factory, Fujiyoshida, 2015 (Photo: François Nanjo Shunsuke)

  

RED, Ice Factory, Fujiyoshida, 2015 (Photo: François Nanjo Shunsuke)