« The more closely attention is given, the more difficult it becomes to fix something by name, or by relation to other things. It begins to move into another being. »
On the threshold of two worlds, black and white, The Holder seems eager to absorb everyone who approaches it, as if bound hand and foot, eyes wide open. Their gaze is captured, then lost in the meanderings of its members. Neither full nor empty, the body in the painting is transforming. When the viewer begins to contemplate it, boundaries disappear: inside and outside, time and space, body and mind, masculine and feminine. Everywhere a timeless black background. Is it a different state of consciousness? A dream? A hallucination? Truc-Anh summons a bestiary populated with chimeras absorbed in a state of contemplation.
The Dilettante has the look of a collage. The Doubter drapes itself in lace whose interlacing figure-eights suggest the presence of the infinite in everything. The fragile, elegant silhouette of The Shameful drifts indecisively as if levitating. Out of nothingness, these evanescent apparitions are defiant, each fragmentary in its own way.
The transmutation continues, generating new forms. Five pairs of legs are adorned with ballet shoes, aligned horizontally and suspended. Mermaids of Time pull careless travelers toward them. A swing reveals their silent charm. The pendulum’s oscillations induce a state of hypnosis. Synchronized and ordered at first, the overall movement is transformed, little by little, into a chaotic energy. Neither simultaneity nor succession, time shatters into a multitude of fractions. Totally abolished perhaps. Does the present moment remain?
Drawing brings the artist closer to this fleeting point in time. It offers the illusion of seizing an instant, but also of thrusting out of flatness into space. The mobile sculpture, The Third, is made of seven oval forms set into each other on an axis, from the smallest to the largest. The drawing unfolds thus into three-dimensional space and beyond, through movement, into a fourth one.
The broken balance precipitates a clash of two ages, two cultures. Catherine is presented on a plinth, like an ethnographic object. The missing pieces of a white mask, inspired by Noh theater, uncover a black shape, the emaciated face of a futuristic machine, a Terminator. An object from traditional Japanese dramatic art and a Hollywood blockbuster icon form a hybrid cultural entity, at once Eastern and Western. Apparent serenity and calm conceal fury and destruction.
A player of chess and Go, Truc-Anh’s work might be easily confined to an identity drawn from European and Asian culture. But the artist plays with borders. He uses his freedom to dialogue through time and eras with his predecessors. He challenges the chronology of a linear time in which the modern notion of progress illuminates the path forward. Art then becomes the instrument of an anxious meditation enlightened by the observation of the world and its mysterious structures.
October, 6th, 2016 - January, 20th, 2017
- Solo Show -
Gallery Helen Varola
Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles