Tam Van Tran: Black Melong


Texture, color, depth, and mindfulness. These were the outstanding elements I connected with when I visited AMERINGER | McENERY | YOHE for Tam Van Tran Black Melong art series.

The California-based artist’s use of textures and iridescent colors have the potential to transcend the visual mind to infinite dimensions. In Black Melong Tran honed in on “the mirror that reflects our liberated potential”, which translate to melong in Tibetan. In Indian iconography the mirror symbolizes clarity, mindfulness, and the kadag, the “primordial purity” of our consciousness.

The Vietnamese artist’s holographic works have a sense of calmness camouflaged from the naked eyes. In order to experience the transcendental feelings of stillness and personal enlightenment, the art watcher must go up-close with an opened and self-accepting mind. “Hazy washes of color and defined geometries churn under raised patterns of tiny dots, each piece becoming both a mirror and a looking glass.” The  jewel toned shapes and colors portrayed an artistic visual of the multiverse, or the universe for those who argue the theory. The works give off a sense of calmness without the feeling of being rush.  

“The artist is interested in using the dots as a kind of magnification of the tiniest atoms to describe a rich and varied mental landscape that one can abide in.”

Tran was inspired by Buddhist traditional paintings of devotion and the Newar people. For my look I was equally inspired by the Newari’s ceremonial attires, and Tam Van Tran’s Black Melong series. The artist’s MVP list of essentials include but are not limited to clay, paper, chlorophyll, glass, algae, staples, crushed eggshells, Wite-out eraser liquid, beet juice, and gelatin.

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Visit the gallery’s website to learn more about Tam Van Tran, and AMERINGER | McENERY | YOHE


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Photography : Erica Genece



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