Exhibition week: Inner light - Artist Truong Van Ngoc


Born in 1990 at Phu Tho, and graduated from Hanoi University of Industrial Art in 2009, Truong Van Ngoc soon found his path in fine art. As of now, he is known for his outstanding watercolors of landscape and lotus.

Unknown to most, Truong Van Ngoc also experienced expressionist portrait, nude, and cubist painting in a fierce mannerism. The path he’s chosen seeks simplicity, yet condensed and implicit, toward the true essence.

Solo exhibitions:

  • 2019: Origin exhibition at 29 Hang Bai St., Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

  • 2013: Hanoi’s watercolors at Chula Fashion Centre, 396 Lac Long Quan St., Hanoi.

  • 2012: the first Watercolors Paintings exhibition at P205, house G5C, 32A Hao Nam Alley, Dong Da, Hanoi.

“…A stone or a blade of grass doesn’t need to have thoughts to appear, they simply exist as common sense, but deep inside they enfold some sense of the natural phenomenon.”

Chân mây gợi chút hồn rung cảm

Miền xa lay động giấc phiêu bồng

Em bé ngày nào thấp thoáng hiện

Chân trần đuổi bắt một trời không

          Poem by Truong Van Ngoc



Over the past 10 years, Truong Van Ngoc has focused sorely on capitalizing on the theme of lotus and nature. By looking at this period alone, it’s not difficult to notice a compelling motion since his work often directly expresses inner feelings. Nineteen artworks in this exhibition display the concentrated, cultivated shaping elements, which contain the breath of meditation and Ngoc’s transition to abstract. Being in a shifting period of the external environment naturally shows that Ngoc’s transformation has reached the mastery of composition, shaping techniques, thoughts, and feelings during his state of seeking one’s essence within his arts.

The lotus outlines seemed to fade away. These outlines become seamless and alluring; no longer descriptive, but switched to expressing the states and signs of lotus through many gamuts of splashing and smearing colors. Fewer shapes leave room for more negative space and minimal hue with slight gradations. Ngoc’s flexibility in his brush strokes is perfectly utilized. Those are the noticeable changes that can be seen when compared to Truong Van Ngoc’s prior lotus painting.

But what’s more special, in these compositions, beyond the minimal signs of emptiness easily recognizable in Zen manner, is a state of “stillness” in the “unrest”, which the lotus and nature of Truong Van Ngoc brought. He explained that inside some works’ dark coating, there used to be turbulent contours. Overlaying is how he gives them balance. In other words, through the images of rustling, separated, and shattered lotus, the lotus itself reaches a oneness of balance, silence, and sincerity.

Abstract lotus and nature will still be intriguing when the artist capitalizes on the state of “singularity”. In other words, that is how he mediates in his paintings amid the fluctuations in the external environment.

Huyen T. Tran