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Rung's "Wandering in Dreamland - Light and Darkness"

by Do Huy

Source: Vietnam Investment Review, Timeout, July 12 –18, 1999 – page 12

You wouldn’t want to accuse Rung of not having a big idea, for he's set out to "discover the Truth of the universe" (and yes, that was a capital "T"). Do Huy attempted to find out if his fantastical mind journeys have much to do with Planet Earth


Until 1992 Rung used to think all art should be “socially responsible," or "art homo art ductusb naturelle" as Latin-speakers might have it.

But in that year his psyche underwent an abrupt transfiguration and Rung ("Forest" is the English translation of this nickname given by his friends) suddenly found himself churning out a fanciful series of somewhat randomly-produced compositions.

This abstract output was presented in a 1993 exhibition entitled "Wandering in Dreamland - Light and Darkness."

And a wanderer he most certainly is. In fact, if this 58 year-old's accounts of the far side are not to be taken as just self-indulgent flights of whimsy (not my take on things, I assure you), he's wandered so far out that he's found a world free of prejudice, bias, conventional notions, pre-defined or fixed concepts and all the other gunk that clogs up Earth's attempts to spin on an Utopian axis.

"In the Ethereal World" is perhaps not surprisingly the name given to Rung's latest exhibition, the second such event he has put on in his homeland since he moved to the US in 1994.

All 13 of the abstract paintings that make up the show share the same theme –transcending the physical world into an inner silence. Close your eyes and you shall see ... as it were.

Dwelling on his escapism, this soulful painter strikes a melancholy note, saying: "The world beyond its surface of visual beauty and simplicity is in fact a world of chaos. It is a world of contrasts, between darkness and light, red and black, enlightenment and ignorance, joy and introversion, goods and evils."

Rung's colorful non-figurative designs are organized in a striking geometric structure, ensuring visual harmony. Often featuring contrasting areas of brilliant light, with powerful reds, yellows, azures, deep browns, black and dark blues, his gloss-painted velvet-like surfaced works regularly bring up a sense of lush serenity.

"We are each trapped in space and time and will never achieve our dreams. Abstraction has helped me escape the world with a unique technique to express a wide range of styles and subjects, from social commentary to psychological trauma."

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