Do you know what people did in the old days when they had secrets they didn’t want to share? They’d climb a mountain, find a tree, carve a hole in it, whisper the secret into the hole and cover it up with mud. That way, nobody else would ever learn the secret…’
‘2046’, movie by Kai War Wong
Let me continue this thought-provoking quote from the movie by Kai War Wong and Christopher Doyle, by explaining you something that I recently discovered about artists and their soul.
Do you know what artists do when they have secrets they don’t want to share? They take a brush, a pencil, a camera or clay and create. They climb a highest mountain of their artistic skills and whisper their secret onto the artwork – and they do it long enough until they get the result they’ll find satisfactory. Their goal is to bring to life something strikingly beautiful and immortal. That way, nobody else would ever learn their secret.
The movie 2046 that I quoted above is a heartbreaking, visually delightful and touching cinematic experience. I’ve seen it many years ago but could not quite understand it’s meaning. A beautiful enigma, indeed. During my recent online research on that movie I’ve came across many online reviews commented the production as something that ‘exists as a visual style imposed upon beautiful faces’. I wasn’t happy with that description and knew there must be more than this.
Few weeks ago, while listening to the soundtrack from the movie, I decided to watch the movie once again. This time, luckily enough, I was able to put the puzzles together. At the first glance the production speaks of the lonely souls that try to reach a mysterious place called 2046 in order to recapture lost loves. In this world nothing ever changes, so there is never loss or sadness. No one has ever returned from 2046. The ‘essence’ of the movie could be described as somewhat bizarre and erotic story.
But here is the thing. What if the director tried to explain us through this movie the meaning of the word ‘Art’? Isn’t art an unattainable space of ‘frozen time’, a mysterious ‘room 2046’? A place which the lonely souls constantly try to reach, looking for comfort, delight, joy, secretly hoping it will bring back to mind the emotions of love, passion that have been tasted once but lost along the way?
2046, photo presents the movie character Bai Ling
The sudden discovery, was followed by another ‘link’ that appeared in my mind. The similar kind of overwhelming beauty, unforgettable mood of longing, regret and poetry that was plain to see in ‘2046’ I have found in the photography of a very talented, Vietnamese photographer Viet Ha Tran that I’ve been introduced to by My Web’Art Gallery.
There was one specific collection by Viet Ha that I found especially appealing. Namely, ‘The Golden Imprint’ presenting Asian ladies wearing hand-made, tradition-inspired costumes. The photoshoot had the participation of the three Vietnamese supermodels Dieu Huyen, Oanh Di, Nhu Van, and the renowned accessory designer Do Van Tri.
If Art really is ‘the frozen time’ and the secret place where anything is possible, the models could as well be seen as reborn 2046 characters. The lost souls, the breathtaking beauties observed by the art viewers from ‘another room’. It all makes a perfect sense as 2046 has never been defined as a place, a room, a temple – or a state of mind.
2046, photo presents the movie character Bai Ling
Just like in the amazing, ‘painterly’ shoots of ‘2046’, Viet Ha Tran allows us to see the spectacular details, ‘the scenes’ are rich in colors and baroque architectural details.
But that’s not all. There is a deeper meaning going beyond the view of extremely elegant, unearthly beautiful women, goddesses standing still in the temple, that have the power to make time stand still. Their faces and body carry deep, transcendent emotions, erotic sadness, contemplation on something ‘higher’ than ‘here’ and ‘now’.
Viet Ha Tran, ‘Golden Imprint V’, 2014, My Web’Art Gallery
Everyone who goes to 2046 has the same intention, they want to recapture lost memories. The same happens to a poets or visual artists. The Creative process is a way to regain ‘the lost treasure’, to recall the emotion that can result with a triumph of mature observation and art.
Viet Ha Tran, ‘Golden Imprint II, 2014
The fascinating works by Viet Ha Tran and the movie ‘2046’ that occupied my mind for a while and reminded me of a poem, that I wrote 2 years ago, entitled ‘King Of My Heart’.
my Kazuo – the king of my heart
this is how I want you
to remember me
when we’ll both live
in the different times
and different space
I want you to remember
my vague girly smile my necklace
made of well-polished enticement
and my patterned oriental dress
remember my soft hair dearest Kazuo
my skin my well defined cheekbones
and the days when you called me Takara
your Japanease duchess of precious stones
whenever you’ll miss me my love
imagine me and call me by my names
call me your Chandra- The Moonlight
your Mischiko – The Empress of Japan
your Layla that stands for the Night
your Akira – your Princess of Grace
whenever you’ll long for my presence
think of all the depths
the fascinating recesses of my soul
that you travelled through
and eagerly explored
and most of all darling
remember our passion
to reach for the stars
to keep our dreams alive
and change the world
Viet Ha Tran, ‘The Golden Imprint I’, 2014, My Web’Art Gallery
Viet Ha Tran, ‘The Golden Imprint III’, 2014, My Web’Art Gallery
Seeing an exceptional artwork and falling in love have one important thing in common. As much as it is ‘a voyage into a secret harbor’ – it is also a matter of timing. We can appreciate and treasure what happens to us or what we see or hear, only if we are ‘ready’ to receive it all with open arms and hearts. The golden imprint on the beautiful dress on the photography by Viet Ha Tran will offer you more (apart from the obvious, aesthetic delight) if you look at it with certain knowledge of Vietnamese tradition, history, maturity, curiosity and sensitivity. The same happens with the art of love – if you give it the attention and tenderness it deserves, it will open up to you it’s petals, enriching your life, giving it a new, deep meaning. But that will happen only when you’re allow your mind to understand that getting close to a mystery of a true love is just like getting close to a real, exquisite piece of art. It is the greatest reward.
‘Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets;
art deserves that for it and knowledge can raise man to the Divine’
Ludwig van Beethoven
Viet Ha Tran, ‘The Golden Imprint IV’, 2014, My Web’Art Gallery