Hùng Việt Nguyễn: Sacred Path
February 12–May 7, 2022 | Community Gallery
Sacred Path features paintings by Torrance-based artist Hùng Việt Nguyễn. The exhibition showcases Nguyen’s highly textured painting technique, which imbues his landscapes and abstractions with a fantastical quality. Curated from his Ancient Pines series and Sacred Landscapes V series (2015–2021), the depictions of natural subjects and imagined scenes may seem unrelated. However, all featured paintings are united by nature and interconnected by an exploration of the universal life forces that unite spirit and matter. Using art as a “universal language,” the artist expresses his inner self by building intricate scenes that are rich with life, personal significance, and spiritual symbolism.
Nature has long been a source of inspiration for Nguyễn. Reverence for the environment has even been a lifeline. While attempting to escape Vietnam in the 1970s, the artist landed in a labor camp; his ability to appreciate the scenery—such as the red sun setting beyond a verdant mountain—helped him contend with physical exhaustion at the end of each day. Now settled in the South Bay, the self-taught artist continues to pay homage to nature through his painting practice. Nguyễn’s Ancient Pines series depicts the coastal rock formations and ancient bristlecone pine forests in California's eastern Sierras, a specific landscape that he interfaces with regularly.
Nguyen’s work was featured on the cover of Artillery magazine’s January 2022 issue. In “The Spiritualized Landscapes of Hung Viet Nguyen: Devoted to Nature,” Genie Davis praised the Sacred Landscapes V series as a whole and specifically the work titled Sacred Landscapes V #32, which is featured in Sacred Path and pictured above.
banner image credit: Hùng Việt Nguyễn, Sacred Landscape V #32 (detail), 2021. Oil on wood panel, 48 x 84 inches. Courtesy the Artist.