Truong Tan

b. 1963, Hanoi, Vietnam
Lives and works in Paris, France, and Hanoi, Vietnam

Truong Tan graduated from the Fine Art School Hanoi in 1982, and the University of Fine Art Hanoi in 1989. He served as a lecturer at the latter from 1989 to 1997 before becoming a full time artist. Following the advent of the Doi Moi (renovation) policy in 1986, which liberalized Vietnam’s market policies, there was a resurgent artistic romanticization of Vietnam’s past. Truong, for his part, abandoned the country’s then current academicism in favour of a practice focused on the complexities of human psychology and social circumstance. Through painting, drawing, performance, installation, sculpture, and ceramics, Truong challenges social convention and investigates themes of identity and freedom of expression.

A pioneer in the fields of lacquer work, performance, and painting his work addresses many issues of oppression that individuals are forced to contend with within traditional Vietnamese culture. Perhaps Vietnam’s first openly homosexual artist, his work has opened the doors for those after him to discuss notions of sexuality in the arts. Some of his most interesting work to date is what he is able to accomplish in the realm of lacquer, where he subverts the traditional aesthetic of this medium by introducing figures that are reminiscent of street art in New York in the 1980’s and 1990’s. His influences range from ancient Greek iconography to the work of Keith Haring and Basquiat.

Truong Tan is part of Nhà Sàn Collective, the first non-profit experimental art space in Vietnam.

Biography information from www.artvietnamgallery.com, August 2022

Country: Vietnam
Nhà Sàn Collective: www.nhasan.org