DUMONTEIL Shanghai is pleased to present “The Canvas of Memories”, the solo exhibition of Vietnamese artist Le Trieu Dien (b.1943), featuring 16 oil paintings created between 2020-2021. The exhibition marks LE's second solo show in the gallery's Shanghai space. The artist recalls some of his most precious memories and emotions and explores the social and cultural attributes rooted in individual existence by depicting the rise and fall of life in the Mekong Delta.
Le Trieu Dien's “memory” is not only a personal recollection of his upbringing, but also a “cultural memory” of the development of the delta region. Ben Tre Province, Le Trieu Dien's hometown, is one of the twelve provinces that comprise the Southwest Delta. Although the colonial period and decades of war have left the artist with unhealed wounds, the artist often wishes to record the gifts of Nature and the treasures of ethnic culture on canvas.
Le found his inspiration from ancient characters, motifs, and decors found on cultural relics and ancient architectures. Although their meanings have long been lost, they still permeate everyday life in the south, from rock art, religious architectural motifs to souvenir patterns. By transforming these images on the edge of oblivion into his creative vocabulary, the artist has created an alternative for them to be perpetuated beyond the promotion and marketing of cultural tourism.
The recurring covid-19 pandemic of the past two years has cast a shadow over global developments, leaving one with a strong concern for the present and future of humanity. Yet, despite being immersed in an atmosphere of fear, frustration and sadness, LE Trieu Dien hopes to bring a sense of strength and optimism with his vibrant and rhythmic works, encouraging viewers to feel and capture the beautiful hues of life and memory.