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Cultured Textures

Within the multitude of rising artists who dare to extend their practices and experimentation beyond conventions, Lê Tuấn Anh, or by his moniker Le Tuan Ry, was too salient to go unnoticed, especially when the interview with him was complimented with a bottle of Merlot.

Vietnamese Artist Le Tuan Ry
Vietnamese Artist Le Tuan Ry
Vietnamese Artist Le Tuan Ry

Born in Vietnam, Quy Nhơn, the 25-year-old contemporary artist grew up as the third generation of artists in his family. While constantly exposed to the artistic practices of his father and grandfather, Ry, ironically, did not entertain the prospect of being an artist. He even found the perpetual smell of paint within his home to be repulsive. Even so, throughout the years of searching for himself, Ry ultimately turned towards art as an avenue of self-expression. It was not until recent years when he struck the match in his artistic endeavour by enrolling abroad at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore that he realised his approach towards art was was akin to an explorer rather than designer. Whilst remaining true to his roots as dominantly a painter, Ry began dabbling with diversified forms of mediums and disciplines.

Le Tuan Ry Mixed Media Painting
Veins #07 | Mixed media on canvas | 220cm × 160cm

His solo exhibition in 2017 Un Es Sence at Vietnam’s Chaosdowntown Art Space demonstrated his knack for wielding an eclectic mix of unconventional materials in a bid to trigger the curiosity of his audiences. The theme of a garden was derived from Ry’s fascination towards the evolution of plants, which was incorporated into his exploration on the subject of life and death, loss and grief. The main attraction of the show was the artwork It is a Beautiful World, whereby the entirety of the bottom level was occupied by plant-like structures with leaves fabricated from x-ray films and painted over with phosphorescent paint. the set-up was presented in the dark of the room fitted with ultraviolet lights to complete the surrealistic landscape of the piece.

Vietnamese artist Le Tuan Ry Mixed Media on Canvas
Song of the Land (triptych 3) | Mixed media on canvas | 130cm × 180cm
Song of the Land (triptych 2) | Mixed media on canvas | 130cm × 180cm
Song of the Land (triptych 1) | Mixed media on canvas | 130cm × 180cm

Nowadays, we are accustomed to finding Ry curled up somewhere in his hometown of Ho Chi Minh City hammering out new works that are evocative in nature while remaining within the realms of his explorative personality.

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