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PHUONG QUOC TRI
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SYMPATHETIC No.1
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2007
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BIOGRAPHY

 ART AND STRONG DESIRE TO SELF EXPRESSION

The curves and the sexual softness often seen in nude paintings seem to be too weak for Tri's emotions. They had to give space to the other spectrum of emotions --- so tense, so extreme, so strong as well as so masculine. That is why even in his paintings of families or mother and sons, we can feel a visual depression, taking us to a life where people have to fight to embrace life and to overcome life's hardship. His paintings are himself, and his large and small families.

Phuong Quoc Tri was born in 1976 in Phan Rang, Central Vietnam. His family moved to Ho Chi Minh city in the later half of the chaotic 80s of the 20th century Vietnam. The big city promised to provide an ideal land for those hoping to find a way to make ends meet and to put an end to the sufferings and poverty widely seen in post-war Vietnam.

 

Being the eldest in a large family, Tri had to start working at the age of 12 to help his family with his only talent --- painting with his brush. Though his talent was nurtured by his father, it is his hard work from one job to another that has helped fully develop his talent. Tri had to put his hands on all kind of jobs --- from interior decoration work for private houses, bars and discothèques to copying European masters’ paintings in various painting shops… These painting jobs helped Tri and his family with their living.  That arduous journey also brought to him a strong desire to paint, to create pieces of paintings that can express his deep and personal emotions and sentiments.

 

Phuong Quoc Tri has found in Expressionism the language that is fit with his burning creative energy.  He did not set out to choose nude as the motive for his paintings. His images of naked men and women, painted with strong expression, come about as result of depressed loneliness and seemingly unbearable hardship of daily life. Through the explosive passion as expressed in nude images, Tri has also found for himself a way to express the illusion and mystery of a double life, in which hidden passions are allowed to flow freely with all of their surprises and charms to the eyes.

 

The curves and the sexual softness often seen in nude paintings seem to be too weak for Tri’s emotions. They had to give space to the other spectrum of emotions --- so tense, so extreme, so strong as well as so masculine. That is why even in his paintings of families or mother and sons, we can feel a visual depression, taking us to a life where people have to fight to embrace life and to overcome life’s hardship. His paintings are himself, and his large and small families.

 

To Phuong Quoc Tri, painting is the journey to freedom --- free to discover himself and his deep emotions; free with his own mind and within his own inner world. Tri has succeeded in that journey, with his improvising strokes and blocks of paints. Tri has found his true self in the world of no borders and constraints --- the usual things he has met so often in his daily life. In art, he has found a way to free himself and his emotions….

 

His latest collection (2006-2007) has been painted with such emotions and depressions. These paintings can paint just a little part of the artist himself but it is easy to see a burning desire imprisoned in a small frame of flesh and blood.

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