From November 24, 2011 to January 14, 2012 – A|B|C ontemporary
Borrowing liberally from art history, Vietnamese painter Nguyen Xuan Huy (born 1976) manipulates a Pop aesthetic to confront the traumatic legacy of the Vietnam War, specifically the birth defects caused by Agent Orange. The bodies that compose his haunting figurative tableaux are distorted yet graceful, humiliated yet strong–apt metaphors for a nation still in recovery.
Born in 1976 in Hanoi, Vietnamese artist Nguyen Xuan Huy came to Germany in 1994 to continue his architectural studies started two years earlier. His mother has lived here since the mid-1980s – as many of their compatriots at the invitation of the “socialist brother country” GDR. Because of a visa problem, for several months Nguyen was embroiled in the turmoil of the German bureaucracy. The free time is used for drawing and painting. In 1996 he began his studies in painting at the Giebichenstein in Halle. Under the guidance of Prof. Ute Pleuger he completed in 2006 his post-graduate course (master student).
Since last 2010, he lives with his family in Berlin. Nguyen has received several awards for his work. Being different for several years he followed his main subject the physical and genetic abnormalities that dominate the late effects of the Vietnam War, the collective consciousness of Nguyen’s home country. American armed forces have the large-scale spraying of the defoliant Agent Orange, especially in the late 1960s as a weapon in jungle warfare. It contained dioxin led to irreversible health problems in the population where the agent was spread. Another three generations after the spraying of Agent Orange babies were born with severe deformities due to toxic damage to the parental genome. An increased cancer rate is among the “collateral damage” of the American war tactics in the Vietnam war, which has mainly affected the civilian population. The U.S. government and military today denied a causal link between Agent Orange and these diseases and have paid no compensation to Vietnamese victims – As opposed to substantial payments to entities of its own armed forces. As the son of a decorated war veteran expatriate his attitude is indeed supported by the empathy for the victims, but without falling into an ideological classification.