Doan Xuan Tang


Mountaineer children


Oil on canvas

135 x 155 cm

Throughout his artistic career, Doan Xuan Tang has spent a considerable amount of time observing and documenting North Vietnam’s mountainous landscapes and people. His portrait works do not depict specific characters and instead allude to the collective sentiments hidden behind the facade, reflecting the artist’s attempt to understand and re-interpret the inevitable modernization of ethnic life. The works A Soul and Mountaineer children thus do not fall into the common mode of aesthetics that tend to over-romanticize ethnic minorities. Woven into Tang’s broken, overlapping brushstrokes and streaks of earthy shades, we see characters coming to the foreground who seem to have been silenced, their eyes worried and mouths shut, as if tormented by their own struggles in the face of constant change.