Memory Space: Remembering Prolific Vietnamese Artist Le Ba Dang in Hue’s Newest Art Gallery
June 2019 mark the opening of Hue’s newest art gallery Memory Space; a collection of works prolific Vietnamese artist Lê Bá Đảng. As Hue refines its reputation as the cultural heritage capital of Vietnam, Memory Space might be Hue’s most impressive gallery to date.
When Lê Bá Đảng reached his thirties, art galleries around France began to hold his exhibitions. His first works were heavily inspired by recollections of country and self-identity. Family portraits, agricultural settings and scenes from wartime Vietnam made up a large proportion of his work.
By the 1960s and 1970s, his work received invitations for exhibitions further afield in Europe and the USA. He became more experimental with the forms his art took. The themes darted between the realities of war and the surrealism of mythology.
Once Vietnam had reached reunification, Lê Bá Đảng returned to his home town in Quang Tri to help in bringing his community back together.
With the unfortunate death of his son at the start of the 1980s, Lê Bá Đảng’s art took a shift closer towards existentialism and the worth of life. As he got older, these existential pieces became more worldly, space-dimensional and even spiritual.
On his passing in 2015, a funeral was held in paris as well as several locations around Vietnam.
Lê Bá Đảng’s art demonstrates a pursuit to a greater understanding of the meaning of life. While his work goes beyond our own world and into fictitious realms, he frequently incorporated beliefs of his native country of Vietnam such as the kitchen God Ong Tao and depictions of Buddha.
During his lifetime, Lê Bá Đảng expressed a vision for a space that would serve for the creativity and imaginations of those that wondered the dimensions of art. A paradise for artists to meet and discuss not only the works of Lê Bá Đảng but the works and ideas of other artists too. Although Lê Bá Đảng’s passing in 2015 left his dream unfulfilled, his assistant Mrs Le Cam Te made it her own undertaking. She has spent the past 4 years working tirelessly to bring the artist’s vision to reality.
While the main exhibition at Memory Space consists of works by Lê Bá Đảng entrusted and given to Mrs Cam Te over the final years of the artist’s life, there are plans to host temporary exhibitions and performances from the local Hue art community. We are very excited to see what the future holds for Memory Space.