Tam Van Tran: Mind is a Pure Expanse of Space

April 8 – May 13, 2010

Press Release

 

Longchen Rabjam (1308 – 1364 or 1369) is considered one of the greatest scholars in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. A seminal yogi, he carried the title Kunkhyen: All-Knowing.

 

Rabjam wrote more than 250 treatises on a wide variety of topics but is best known for his works on Dzogchen (a Tibetan word translating to Great Perfection), especially the extensive scholastic exegesis of the Dzogchen tantras known as The Seven Treasuries. This collection discusses the primordial nature that is the ground of all experience; the view, meditation, and conduct of the spiritual path, and the final freedom that is the fruition of that path.

 

In his third solo exhibition at Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Tam Van Tran presents a body of work significantly informed by meditation and mind training and the pursuit of beauty.

 

Utilizing two and three-dimensional planes, Tran mixes natural materials such as saffron, silver and 24k gold to illuminate the opacity of a surface; combining plants and minerals with pigment to focus the idea of organically developing awareness.

 

Employing a loose line-work resembling calligraphy throughout both drawings and paintings, some in ink, others streaked with silver or gold, Tran references writing as an activity that illuminates ones potential and intelligence.

 

Encapsulating both Eastern and Western ideas, the Western fluidity of abstraction and focus on individuality in tandem with Eastern motifs of nature, landscape and Buddhism, Tran’s own history is evident. 

 

Tran’s pursuit of a non-conceptual space that is highly cognizant, a space where thought is suspended and personal beauty is achieved, is given a tangible face in his paintings and drawings.  The elegance and supreme craftsmanship of Tran’s work radiates from within.

 

Tran was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.  He has been exhibiting in galleries for ten years and has had solo museum exhibitions at the Blaffer Gallery, Houston, and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, as well as being included in the International Paper exhibition at the UCLA Hammer Museum in 2003 and the SuperVision exhibition at the ICA Boston in 2006.  Most recently, the San Jose Museum of Art commissioned Tran to create a new piece for their permanent collection in celebration of the museum’s 40th anniversary in 2009.