14.4.2023 – 14.8.2023

Opening hours:

10h00 – 18h00 | Tuesday to Saturday 


APD (Center for Art Patronage and Development)

Creative Square, No.1, Luong Yen, Bach Dang, Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi

The APD Center for Art Patronage and Development is delighted to present “MỚ”, a solo exhibition by artist Phạm Trần Việt Nam, curated by Trần Lương.

For the first time in Hanoi, the exhibition will showcase more than 20 distinctive artworks by Phạm Trần Việt Nam The works were made between 2012  and 2023,  most of them were recently created during the post-Covid pandemic, including a few large-scale paintings, the largest of which is 3.2 meters wide and 20 meters long. Some works were produced in more than 10 years, resulting from a continuous process of reinventing and restructuring to create new revival identities.

All the works are not stretched over wooden frame. Beside paintings attached to the wall, the oversized paintings are spread out on the floor and fill the space; like an installation just about to overflow from its boundaries in a space surrounded by the haunting ‘dreams’ of life and death in the artist’s internal world.

Phạm Trần Việt Nam is one of the few artists in Vietnam who steps into and approaches painting with a primitive spontaneous spirit. His practice challenges both common understanding as well as conventional practice method and conception of painting. By unconventional experiments in scale, material and painting method, abandoning academic standards and biological restraints, he borrows the language of visual art as a medium to search for the dark patches of the internal world and the invisible forms of the external world. Painting here is also seen as a therapeutic method, a language to translate on behalf of other languages, all with their limitation/improbability. 

In Phạm Trần Việt Nam’s case, the role of form has become secondary, there is no methodology or formatting orientation in the creative process. Form ‘slips’ into existence unconsciously, directly from emotional energy, which in turn comes from an “another existence’.

“His painting technique starts at one edge of the canvas, thereafter the particulars overflow outwardly like moss growing. The initial strokes/details will lead to the following strokes/details, whereby creating noncompositional paintings. Because of the painter’s urging compulsion to smear and wipe, all consideration and calculation were excluded, leaving behind the finiteness of reality. Shapes and strokes jostling, suppressing, and thrusting consistently cause the painting’s form to protrude out of the canvas; and the margin of background materials, therefore, is only temporarily segregating one’s vision. Cutting holes in the background, in addition to being a way of ‘drawing’, is also an act of breaking the framework of the canvas”*

This exhibition is the transformation in thinking and practice method of Phạm Trần Việt Nam. The palette is more colorful, the scale is more adaptive to the space and the spirit of his gloomy world is closer to life. This is also the result of a long close collaboration between the artist and curator Trần Lương.

The exhibition “MỚ” takes place from April 14 to August 14, 2023 at APD Center for Art Patronage and Development (Thang Long Metal Wares Building,  No 1 Luong Yen St., Bach Dang Ward, Hai Ba Trung Distr., Hanoi). During the exhibition, APD will organize events and activities including discussion, curator tour, etc. to create diverse paths connecting the audience, art lovers with the exhibition.

*quotation from exhibition’s statement by curator Trần Lương


Phạm Trần Việt Nam was born in Da Nang and graduated from the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts University in 2010. Though initially trained in sculpture, his practice mostly revolves around painting, especially oil painting on canvas. Greatly influenced by rock music and expressionism, his early visual compositions appear tormented, as if engulfed in  flame, focusing on peeling apart and exposing each dark corner of rage and violence inside the human mind. From 2014, after overcoming a struggling period of depression, he decided to reinvent himself by dethroning everything that he used to put on a high pedestal, firstly by shredding his old paintings and restructuring the pieces into new works. Nam’s creations convey a message concerning humanity which stems from compassion and his reactions to the perils of the current social context in Vietnam. Art to him is not just labor, but also ‘a compulsive behavior of a mind in discord’ – a state that at times compels anger but at times remains patient and meditative. Some of his most prominent exhibitions and projects include: ‘The best of Viet Nam’ (Lavelle Gallery, HCMC, Vietnam, 2022), ‘The oration for ten types of sentient beings , The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre , HCMC, Viet Nam, 2018), ‘Dogma Prize’ (Heritage Space, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2017), ‘Vietnam Eye’ (The Italian Cultural Center, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2016), ‘Miền Méo Miệng’ (Bildmuseet Museum of Contemporary Arts, Umea, Sweden, 2015), ‘Behind Consciousness’ (Tự Do Art Gallery, HCMC, Vietnam, 2010), ‘My sister’ (Sàn Art, HCMC, Vietnam, 2010), ‘Illusions – Desire’ (L’Espace – l’Institut français de Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2009),‘The Gang’ (Nhà Sàn Studio, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2009), to name a few. His works are collected by Lavelle Gallery and The Outpost Art Organisation.