The painting depicts a figure standing in the water, wearing only a fully suited top and white underpants. His head is heavily covered with colored circular forms. He looks like a white–collar working class man who seems so out of place awkwardly in this natural setting.
Tuong always tries to evolve around identity, world view, and the inner self of the subject he paints, as well as the intersubjectivity between the represented figure and the artist.
The awkwardness and displaced setting of the subject and the surroundings make it relatable during this COVID time.
(Text courtesy of CUC Gallery)
Edgar Allan Poe – 1809-1849
In spring of youth it was my lot
To haunt of the wide earth a spot
The which I could not love the less—
So lovely was the loneliness
Of a wild lake, with black rock bound,
And the tall pines that tower’d around.
But when the Night had thrown her pall
Upon that spot, as upon all,
And the mystic wind went by
Murmuring in melody—
Then—ah then I would awake
To the terror of the lone lake.
Yet that terror was not fright,
But a tremulous delight—
A feeling not the jewelled mine
Could teach or bribe me to define—
Nor Love—although the Love were thine.
Death was in that poisonous wave,
And in its gulf a fitting grave
For him who thence could solace bring
To his lone imagining—
Whose solitary soul could make
An Eden of that dim lake.