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Dior travelling exhibition features artworks by Vietnamese artists

The ‘Lady Dior as Seen By’ project, which takes in the form of a travelling exhibition, displays works in which Dior collaborates with artists to sketch a picture that reflects the creative context internationally, transcending principles and borders.

HCM CITY — HCM City-based visual artist and fashion designer Tia-Thủy Nguyễn has joined several other foreign artists to provide her artwork to a global project conducted by the famous French fashion house Dior.

The ‘Lady Dior as Seen By’ project, which takes in the form of a travelling exhibition, displays works in which Dior collaborates with artists to sketch a picture that reflects the creative context internationally, transcending principles and borders.

Since its inauguration in 2011, the exhibition has travelled through many cities in the world including Shanghai, Düsseldorf, Milan, Tokyo and Berlin.

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Visual artist and fashion designer Tia-Thủy Nguyễn poses next to her ‘Lady Cloud’ bag sculpture for the ‘Lady Dior As Seen By’ exhibition. — Photo courtesy of Tang Tang

For the exhibition’s first visit to Việt Nam, artist Tia-Thủy Nguyễn, who completed her Master’s degree on Fine Art and PhD in Arts at the Kyiv National Academy of Visual Arts and Architecture in Ukraine, has introduced her artwork Lady Cloud crafted from quartz, sparkling and durable. The work is an adaptation of the legendary Lady Dior bag, inspired by the purity and comprehensiveness of clouds.

When receiving the invitation in January from The House of Dior, she had very little time, only two months, to complete the work. To start, Tia-Thủy Nguyễn spent time carefully researching the Lady Dior bag from a creative perspective and started making sketches on paper.

Choosing the image of colourful clouds as creative inspiration and hands-on production as her personal mark, the artist created a 3D prototype in clay. This is how she can accurately visualise the structure and proportion of the work in real space.

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Tia-Thủy Nguyễn in a workshop creating a 3D prototype of the ‘Lady Cloud’ bag in clay. — Photo courtesy of the artist

Explained her choice of quartz as the main material for this work, she said: “In feng shui, quartz is a stone that balances qi, helps calm the mind, crystallizes one’s thoughts and eliminates negative emotions.”

“From an aesthetic perspective, quartz resembles clouds, allowing light to pass through, bending its direction to reflect its surroundings. The contrast between the solidity of quartz and the airiness of clouds can challenge the viewer’s imagination, leading to open-ended personal contemplation,” she added.

The quartz crystals chosen to form a cloud surrounding the bag became a “super difficult” problem not only because of the journey to find the right quartz block but also because of the extremely complicated attachment process.

To find the right block of stone that has the desired clarity, hardness and size, the designer and her team had to go to famous quartz quarries across Việt Nam from Yên Bái, Đà Nẵng, Đắc Lắc and Hà Tiên, to some other countries as well. After much searching, they finally found the most suitable stone block to make Lady Cloud – a 103-kg crystal in Phan Thiết.

Next, the stone sculpture was created and the large stone blocks were divided into hundreds of thousands of tiny quartz crystals with different angles and colours. The cutting and polishing are all done entirely by hand.

After classification, Tia-Thủy Nguyễn and the artisans began the process of attaching stones to create a gentle, flexible cloud with colour changes from light to dark surrounding Lady Cloud.

During the creative process, many times her collaborators thought it would not be possible to complete it due to time limitation, and there were also times when it seemed like it was over when she couldn’t find a manufacturing plan. But step by step, they went from the starting point to the final destination to create a unique Lady Cloud bag sculpture.

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Attaching thousands of tiny quartz crystals to form the ‘Lady Cloud’ bag sculpture was an extremely complicated process to. — Photo courtesy of Ngô Nhật Hoàng

Talking about this unexpected collaboration opportunity, the artist said: “This combination between a world-famous fashion house and a local artist is not only a collaboration to adapt a Dior icon, but also an intersection between two design thoughts and philosophies. I bring my signature aesthetic and spontaneous personality, and Dior represents exemplary elegance with its classic bag shape. For me, this is my destiny with a timeless symbol.”

The designer said that through this exhibition, she hopes her audience and colleagues will see a new possibility and a new way of expression, motivating them to move forward together.

Alongside Tia-Thủy Nguyễn, contemporary painter Bùi Công Khánh is another Vietnamese artist who was invited to join the Lady Dior As Seen By project. The Đà Nẵng-born artist has created the work Những Đám Mây Phiêu Lãng (The Wandering Clouds) inspired by ceramic mosaics seen in temples and shrines in Hội An.

Both the Lady Cloud and The Wandering Clouds are currently on display for the public until April 14 at the Lady Dior As Seen By exhibition at An Gallery – Union Square, 159 Đồng Khởi Road, District 1, HCM City.

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A closeup of the work The Wandering Clouds by contemporary artist Bùi Công Khánh. — Photo courtesy of The Fashion World

Viewers can also enjoy works by other contemporary artists, including Mircea Cantor (Romania), Jeffrey Gibson (US), Gilbert & George (UK), Ha Chong-Hyun (South Korea), Lee Kun-Yong (South Korea), Mariko Mori (Japan), Ludovic Nkoth (US), Hilary Pecis (US), Mickalene Thomas (US), Zadie Xa (Canada), Michaela Yearwood-Dan (UK) and Xu Zhen (China).

After the display in HCM City, Dior will bring these artworks to other countries so that art and fashion enthusiasts have the opportunity to admire them over the years.

Theo Vietnamnews