From the organizer:
In 1969 René Mederos (1933-1996) was sent by the Cuban government to Vietnam to paint scenes of the war in both North and South Vietnam. Mederos travelled with soldiers and villagers along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, living and working with the Vietnamese community. He returned to Vietnam in 1972, and once again painted images of the Vietnamese resistance, often at great personal risk. During his two trips to Vietnam, Mederos amassed a collection of over three-dozen works of various sizes, depicting the grassroots revolutionary movement of the Vietnamese in vibrant, detailed paintings.
Mederos’ work aimed to demonstrate the solidarity that the Cuban people felt for the Vietnamese people, rather than to glorify war. Over the years, his paintings and posters of the war have been displayed by anti- war organisations and in art galleries around the world.
This exhibition showcasing eighteen archival prints of the paintings/posters that Mederos created during his two visits to Vietnam is the first time they have been exhibited in Vietnam since their initial display in the country.
Complimenting the show will be the works of five contemporary Vietnamese artists. By inviting Le Quy Tong, Nguyen The Son, Nguyen Nghia Cuong, Pham Khac Quang and Giang Nguyen to participate in the exhibition, the organizers hope to show a past Vietnam represented through Mederos' work and reflections on contemporary Vietnamese society.
With the inclusion of these two contrasting yet equally important narratives, this exhibition will create a space for a dialogue focusing on the legacy of Mederos’ work as seen through the eyes of 21st century Vietnamese Artists.
This exhibition brings the focus away from conflict to a space of collaboration and solidarity. We as nations are now eternally bound and it is imperative that we all work together for a peaceful coexistence.
The exhibition is generously supported by the Cuban Embassy.