Lacquer exhibition inspired by places of worship opens

Eight contemporary artists will showcase lacquer artworks inspired by cửa võng, the decorative door frames at places of worship.

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Lacquer exhibition inspired by places of worship opens
Moving Space, lacquer on wood, 60 by 120 cm, 2018, by Cong Quoc Thang.

Highlighting the work of both lacquer artists and contemporary multimedia artists, the exhibition illuminates the historic aesthetic of lacquer through time by creating a dialogue between the medium of lacquer and cửa võng.

The exhibition, entitled The Lacquer Story: Dialogue Cửa Võng, will take place on June 22 showcasing 15 pieces of art including 12 paintings, two installations and one performance which will take place at the opening ceremony.

Widely known – especially in the north – cửa võng is a special decorative object found in sacred worship spaces. It is a door frame divided into three parts. The right and left parts are attached to a pair of columns, close to the pair of phrases or text on the horizontal lacquered panel above.

This door frame separates the sacred worship area from normal life outside, indicating that it is a space to show respect and express prayers and desires to the Gods.

Along with the altar, the ornaments, the sacred atmosphere and animal statues, this symbolic door frame is an essential part of the whole sacred space of a family, a family line and a village.

In the worship space, the door frame is not only a separation but also a connection between the spiritual world and earthly life. As a result, artisans put a lot of devotion into every stage of their work to create each decorative door frame, from deciding on the content, to sculpting using delicate techniques and especially to the technique of lighting and illumination.


Participating artists include Nguyen Truong Linh, Nguyen Hong Phuong and Cong Quoc Thang.

This exhibition challenges each artist to push the limits of the material and also to honour their own visual language. Through this, the story of each artist is conveyed to the audience, said curator and artist Linh.

“This is the first exhibition where multimedia artists create using the lacquer medium, and by doing so, bring to the public a fresh new perspective of the possibilities and potential of using the traditional material,” he said.

Lacquer exhibition inspired by places of worship opens
The Throne, lacquer on wood, 90cm by 70cm, 2019 by artist and curator Nguyen Truong Linh.

“The exhibition gives each of the artists the opportunity to have a conversation with this symbol in their own way, to connect with the public by stepping through that door and to inherit and touch the true values of fine art," said Linh. "Visitors will listen to the lacquer stories told by the artists, in which they share inspiration of tradition, culture and history."

During the exhibition, there will be artist talks and art tours with the curators.

The exhibition will run until July 31 at Cuci Art Studio, 25 Hang Bun Street, Hanoi.


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