Lucie Fontaine is glad to present " When The Wind Touches Your Skin Lightly," a solo exhibition by the Swiss artist Quynh Dong. The exhibition will open on Saturday, June 13 from 6:30 to 9pm. After the opening night, the show will be open by appointment through July, 2015.
Although Dong started her artistic practice painting watercolors and drawing flowers, she later focused on performance and video in relation to storytelling. For the first time in years, on occasion of this show, Dong returns to watercolors and their immediacy, exploring a form in depth, in an attempt to develop a new visual language.
The starting point of this show is a children's story. When the Petite Prince - the protagonist of the homonymous book written in 1943 by Antoine de Saint-Exúpery - discovers a garden full of roses, he is at first very disappointed. He believed the rose living on his planet was the only one in the whole universe. How could it be there were five thousands of them blossoming just in front of his eyes! All of a sudden his precious kingdom looked ordinary. It’s only when, after taming the fox, he goes back to look at the roses again, that he finally realizes something. Although his rose looked like all the others, it was the only one in all the world. It was the only one he watered, the only one he put under glass, the only one he spent time with. That’s what made it his rose.
Just like the rose, a thistle has prickles, its fierce defense from herbivorous animals. This spinous flower stands for nobility of character and resilience. A thistle makes a special appearance at the beginning of Tolstoy’s last novel, Hadji Murat, (1912) when the narrator walks into a field and in an effort to pluck the stem, he struggles for several minutes before succeeding.
What makes the five thistles in the show unique, although only a few among thousands of others, is the time Dong spent with them. She carefully selected these flowers because she was interested in their specific shape. She plucked them from the soil, stared at them, eventually started to paint them. Dong watched the thistles blossom, and slowly wither. She worked in a flow, constantly repeating the same gesture, while the flowers transformed in front of her eyes. Among the reasons for her choice, there is perhaps the fierce attachment of this flower to its roots, while the artist is in a state of flux, in a world of incessant movement.
It is not the beauty of these flowers she tries to catch in her watercolors, but their passage through time, in an attempt to clasp that movement and crystalize it on a sheet of paper, as fragile as a series of ephemeral and yet unique memories.
Quynh Dong was born in Hai Phong, Vietnam in 1982. She studied at Design School in Biel/Bienne, at the Bern University of Arts and the Zurich University of the Arts. She recently completed her residency at Rijksakademie, Amsterdam and from July 2015 she will attend the Changdong residency in Seoul, Korea. In 2014 she had a solo exhibition at the Kunstraum in Baden and she participated in the show Durch die Blume at Museum Bellerive, in Zurich. In the same year she took part in ARTransit at Viafarini, Milan and Toni-Areal, Zurich.
For more information about this exhibition, Lucie Fontaine and her activities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Quynh Dong