Dinh Cuong

“Beware of the Unforeseeable”

… It is not because he has seen through the hidden precariousness of the borderland between life and death, out and home, light and dark, Dinh Cuong is said by some as a painter “romanticist”. Probably. But “romantic” world should not be understood as mere “willows leaning before veil screens and the moonlighting the alley-end!” Dinh Cuong’s small paintings I happened to see this spring are worlds that I much hesitate walking in. One should be ready, be cautious. Beware of the unforeseeable. It’s like in a mystifying space from a corner a dot of lightflashing up, in a quiet zone a stroke of brush suddenly jetting out, expanding, tottering, and stampeding towards the un-fathomable. Dinh Cuong’s person is much meeker than hispaintings. But they are “harsh” where they are least expected.

The needle is pointed at one tiny point. Dinh Cuong’s “romanticism” lies not in “the long route with white dust and flying hair” but in that sudden dot flash, in that venturesome and painful stroke.

Dinh Cuong’s is a painting style breaking out from inner urges in unceasing response to life’s torments, hustles, and loves. Dinh Cuong lives with fervor and draws with liveliness. Forms in his paintings are not architectural plays, arrangement systems or magic creations. His paintings display traits of “lounging seemingly far yet near” patches of colors hustling, falling apart, fusing together now and then isolated zones for a pause, recuperation, breath and rest. In Dinh Cuong’s paintings I think most successful, I find he has nearly disentangled himself from the hold of the Paris School whose almost complete failure still obsesses badly a great number of Vietnamese painters. As a Vietnamese facing the whole Vietnamese background, with a Vietnamese heart and love, Dinh Cuong is patiently creating a style more adequate, a vision of his own.

. . . This evening, in a faraway place, with white clouds surging uplike big waves around me, I extend my hand and happen to catch one of the thousands of leaves falling and flying tattered. The leaf but lately green now dies flaming red like fire. I dedicate the fire to Dinh Cuong.

Vo Dinh

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