Nguyen Trung is regarded as one of Vietnam’s most innovative and multi-faceted contemporary artists. His style divides between figuration and abstraction over the length of his career, but in 1990, he went to Paris for the first time and saw in person works by artists such as Tapies, Soulages, Sugai and Zao Wou-Ki, that had a profound influence on him and the subsequent paintings he created.
Of particular inspiration to him was Chinese ink wash and calligraphy. The expressive brushstrokes, awash and brimming with energy and vigour influenced him and lent a calligraphic aspect with this work, with clearly defined lines breaking down the plane and pictorial elements. In Lunar Arc and across his works from this period, there is a palpable sense of movement and flow across the canvas, displaying his new found style and brush techniques. Contrary as well to the warmer lush and rich colours of his native Vietnam, the works produced in this period are ‘cooler’ with starker, less dramatic hues and colours.
Nguyen Trung was also a participant in a collection of Vietnamese contemporary art that was exhibited in Hong Kong in 1991, titled Uncorked Soul which was displayed at Plum Blossoms Gallery. This was the first international exhibition of Vietnamese contemporary art worldwide after doi moi, and therefore was a historically significant and ground breaking exhibition.