Le Kinh Tai’s wooden fish of past, present

‘Wooden Fish, imaginary cake and very fresh meaLe Kinh Tai’s wooden fish of past, presentt’  solo exhibition by Le Kinh Tai is opening at the New Space Arts Foundation in Hue City, featuring a new concept of the artist as he explores love, social issues and past memories. The concept has grown in the last seven months and works has been made during a month’s residence at the foundation managed by twins Le Ngoc Thanh and Le Du Hai.

Tai is known for surface expression, bold ideas, purposeful scribbles, color harmony as well as large expressive paintings. This exhibition is no exception as in these new works fans will continue to be amazed by bright color tones, long fish with large teeth and unidentified animals with weird legs and heads. That’s why people often say Tai’s paintings often flatter viewers’ eyes but also tries to rape their brain, asking them to stare, to feel deeply and to think wisely.

Tai revealed that he creates his works from incoherent and expressive sketches which finally bring home his concept. And ‘Wooden fish, imaginary cake and very fresh meat’ was born in that way.

The wooden fish is a Vietnamese thing as those in poverty and suffering from malnourishment in the past used wooden fish to imagine they were having a delicious meal and they can hide in their fantasy for a few moments and imagine that their life is not that desperate. However, not only recalling tragic memories, Tai also uses the wooden fish, imaginary cake and fresh meat to talk about current social issues.

He said: “The miserable times of our country are over, but some people still use the term ‘wooden fish’, but it has an inverted meaning. This term can be used for people who consider themselves rich (even if they have a mountain of debts) and like to show up with luxury cars, modern villas and glamorous clothes and handbags. These people are obsessed with having the newest and most expensive luxury items to be better than everyone else as they live a life of lies. That materialistic image can be seen as ‘wooden fish, imaginary cake or fresh meat’.”

At the same time, we can see the wit as well as cunning thought, irony and metaphors throughout these colorful images and scribbles as contemporary art needs to play its role in society. “This is what my paintings are about: a society that lives on the concept of materialism and desired objects from the western world,” said Tai.

The exhibition runs until December 4 at the foundation, 15 Le Loi Street in Hue City.

(Sai Gon Times)