Thai Tuan, Nguyen b.1965 / Black Painting No. 109
about this work
"In a black background you can figure the blackened silhouettes of police officers arresting a woman. Everybody is without face and recognizable only by the shape of his/hers clothes.The woman was just a peasant on her protestation against the expropriation land. The dark background compared to the white shirts helps to nullify the surrounding environments, conveying the attention of the viewer on the subject. Even if the stories draw upon real events the interest is direct towards the behaviours and the existential dynamics of people. The abuse of power is something that deletes the identities of both the woman and the police officers , filling them with emptiness and obscurity. This darkness denote the loss of human values, people become robots with no past and no desires, acting without conscience of causes and consequences”.

(Text by Nguyen Thai Tuan)

In the monograph on Nguyen Thai Tuan, the Italian art critic Demetrio Paparoni states: 

“Far from wishing to cause astonishment and marvel, Nguyen Thai Tuan’s paintings capture and illustrate the physical pain and existential anguish of the Vietnamese people, who in these paintings embody the condition of all those oppressed by power. Paradoxically, at the moment in which the absence of a body deprives a subject of its identity, both the victors and the vanquished become players of a scene in which, whatever their role, they are subjected to the will of a power that is itself acephalus. This does not equate to acquitting the perpetrators, but rather it amounts to situating their macabre practices within a scenario in which they carry out the absurd, as well as tragic, role of a bit player; a role that is made evident by the narrative structure of the individual paintings.”

Nguyen Thai Tuan (b.1965, Vietnam)

Black Painting No. 109, 2014

Oil on canvas
149.86 x 129.54 cm.
59 x 51 in.
Primae Noctis, Lugano, Switzerland Current Location:
UK - London - G4Si PaintingSouth Asia


Primae Noctis, Lugano, Switzerland
May 2015 - September 2015


Demetrio Paparoni, Nguyễn Thái Tuấn: Black Painting & Heritage
Primae Noctis Gallery (Catalogue), Milan, March 2015, pp. 52 (Catalogue 2014); pp.58 (Catalogue 2015)

Artwork History
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