Thursday, 06 October 2011 12:43


Written by  Hoang Duong Cam. Photos provided by Galerie Quynh
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Born a year before the establishment of a unified Vietnam, Hanoi-native, Hoang Duong Cam is no stranger to the hardships of daily living at a time when a new government was just emerging. Surrounded by poverty, he found relief in the days he spent under the tutelage of Vietnamese artist, Pham Viet Song. Song, a graduate of the Fine Arts of Indochine, offered art classes in his small home-turned-studio to interested children.

Cam heeded the call of the arts and went on to graduate in 1996 from the Hanoi Fine Arts University. His first love is painting but having worked briefly in the Goethe Institut in Hanoi and as an art director for several publications, opened him up to several art forms.

Moving to Ho Chi Minh City in 2001 gave him access to more opportunities to hone his craft and today, Cam skillfully creates his works through paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations. Digital photography and video also completes his repertoire.

When asked about his influences, he lists the art movement called Dadaism, which began in Zurich, Switzerland. Dadaism features the free-style approach of the artist wherein there are no rules to stop the art process. Cam looks up to artists Jan Bas Ader, Martin Kippenberger, and Janine Antoni.

The Human Condition

Affected by the struggles of his early life, Cam’s style focuses on the human condition, consciousness and philosophy. Although he admits that his art looks complicated, he wants to impart to his audience the joyful process that brought about his creations.

He has been involved in several solo and group exhibitions which include countries such as the US, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Singapore, Israel, Argentina and even in the Cayman Islands.

Cam, together with local and international artists, prepared for the Saigon Open City Exhibition in 2006. The exhibition that was supposed to run for four months did not materialise because of censorship. Cam expressed that even though the event did not happen, for him it didn’t really matter because what was important was to create art awareness which the cancellation of the show accomplished.

For Cam, his personal life and art are one and the same, “I live with art. They are not separate. Art and life can come together. Appreciating beauty and making use of your logic is an art form. Art is intellectual.”

His next exhibition, Ideal Fall shows from Oct. 6 till Nov. 19 at Galerie Quynh at 65 De Tham, Q1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Get to know more about Hoang Duong Cam at

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