Introduction

Despite being detained in several South Vietnam concentration camps by the communist regime from 1975 to 1981, Bright Quang maintained his love for art and poetry.  Indeed, the Vietnamese communists imprisoned him because of his art and poetry.  Bright Quang came to the United States on November 22, 1993 under the Humanitarian Operation program (H.O. /20), which was designed to enable former Vietnamese political prisoners to immigrate to the United States.  He now resides in Redwood City, California.  A graduate of Tran Quoc Tuan High School 1968, Bright Quang was admitted to the Hue College of Art and earned a degree in art 1971.  In the United States, he earned an AA degree in 2001, and a Bachelor’s degree at California State University, Hayward (East Bay), in 2003.  At Hayward, Bright Quang specialized in sculpture using plaster, copper, brass, wood, stone, wire, and cement to create figures of human beings and animals. 

Bright Quang was awarded the International Poet of Merit Silver Award Bowl in 2001 by Poetry.Com, and in 2000 he published a book of poetry fables called Tình Nāng Khổng Long, or Dinosaur Love, with over twenty seven thousand lines of poetry.  The publisher was Manifesto, UNESCO BP3-91167, Longjumeau Cedex 9, in France.  He published Poetry & Art at Canada College 1998, as well as a book of poems, My Innermost Song in downtown San Jose in June 17, in 2000, and in 2006 the American publisher of AuthorHouse published his three books of Road to the United States of America part 1 & part 2 and poetry book of My Torch.

Since coming to the United States, Bright Quang has exhibited his pieces of artworks in a variety of locations.  First, he exhibited his art at Canada College, 4200 Farm Hill Boulevard, Redwood City, CA 94061, and Tel. (650) 306-3100 from October 13, 1998 to November 15, 1998.  At this time he donated his statue named CONTROL to Canada College.  Second, he exhibited, by invitation, A BRIGHT FUTURE THROUGH EDUCATION at the Lake Wales Cultural Center of Lake Wales, Florida, from October 15, 1998 until October 2000.

The Coastal Arts League and the Peninsula Sculptor’s Guild of California invited him to present this exhibit.
 Bright Quang exhibited his artworks in downtown San Jose, in June 17, 2000.  These works included over fifteen artworks of marble, wood, brass, and cement.   Fourth, his artwork YOUR BEAUTIFUL HAIR was exhibited in the Lake Wales Cultural Center of Lake Wales, Florida State; he was sponsored by his Sculptor's Guild 1780 Ralston Ave, Belmont, California.  Fifth, his artwork The FROG and the RISING UP has been exhibited at the following locations by these five organizations:

Santa Cruz Art League Gallery, 526 Broadway, Santa Cruz
Cardiff House, UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High St, Santa Cruz
Arts Council of San Mateo County Manor House Gallery, 1780 Ralston Ave, Belmont
Coastal Arts League Gallery, 300 Main St, Half Moon Bay
Corridor Gallery San Mateo Government Center, 400 County Center, Redwood City.

In 2004 Bright Quang exhibited his painting and sculpture’s casting bronze at the gallery of California State University, Hayward. His forty-three portraits of American presidents and three statues of bronze of  of President Abraham Lincoln, bronze Figure of President Bill Clinton, and bronze Figure of the Artist Bright Quang.

Bright Quang has been exhibiting for every year his pieces of artwork at Hayward Arts Council, Hayward, California, Tel: (510)538-2787.


1972 Bright Quang opened a studio in Quang Ngai, and then moved to Saigon. There he created works of art such as old fishermen, farmers of different shapes and sizes.  He also created animals, such as elephants, oxen, buffaloes, horses, lions, birds and fish; pots and candle-holders were also his specialties.

 

 

Introduction

 

Bright Quang is an interesting and inspiring man. Idiosyncratic and personal, his painting describes his response to his life and share with us a long, solitary view acquired in the midst of tragic world events of the past thirty years–war, displacement, and struggle. Bright’s reply to all this is, rather than despair, hope. Bright’s work, and his character, celebrates what it means to be alive in difficult times.
Professor Dickson Schneider
California State University Hayward
http://www.csuhayward.edu/

 

 INTRODUCTION

Bright-Quang is a South Vietnamese man with a quicksilver mind, giving expression to sounds, emotions and textures. His poems bury in a tree root, during a six-year concentration camp incarceration, are lyrical and will enlighten and delight. By placing his carefully crafted poems in his shoe then secretly burying them wrapped in a blanket, Bright-Quang was able to save his work. This was done while digging at hard labor under the nose of his communist oppressors. Interned because of his statements of conscience in poetry and art, Quang tells of the despair and misery in a lyric and expressive outpouring about the communists and the camp. In a series of poems covering both physical and emotional life experiences, Quang prays for harmony. In a later section Quang tells of his relocation and emotional rebirth in the United States, Redwood City, California, and his capturing freedom of thought and expression. "We need a torch," this descendant of "dragons" pleads. Balancing woe and tribulation with love his summons memories with " the sun on a river of perfume" and " love and lost harmonies". He dramatizes anger and hopelessness in a play-let that builds anguish against North Vietnam Communists tormenting villagers. In a time honored folk theme, a young virgin spy is raped and by the wicked older military strongman, young lover lost mother degraded. All this showing the effect of military ruthlessness It is difficult to express the spiritual of flowering of these writings, which burst like sparkling shooting stars lighting up the pages of the mind. The final section has photos of art works by the author. They encapsulate " Hope" as an underlying theme. They are sculpted and carved in different media; ceramic, wood, plaster, and granite, then painted, some in gold, some in brass. The sum of this work creates that hair-raising surprise of finding a rare and brilliant talent emotional insight. The sculptures focus on subjects that represent the idea of liberation. The bust of President Clinton has facial symmetry, boldly extended nose, and connected eyebrow line that intensifies the inward gaze of the sagging aging eyes. This ceramic, painted in gold, emphasizes the unique personality of Clinton. In contrast to the facial strength of the bust of President Kennedy in cement, sand and granite, and President in ceramic, is a softly modeled girl bust, in ceramic, plaster painted gold. She has a modestly downward gaze, her face framed with shiny looking hair. Her total look is gentle, youthful and hopeful. Quang's humor is evident in his sculpture of an elongated curvaceous Cat. An impish look, Cat tilts its head, more ready to purr than pounce. The sleek warm, wooden body elicits the desire for touching. The outward appearance of the controlling hands, the frog with hatchet, and rearing horse is different. They all express the underlying theme of freedom. The frog will break down obstacles, the hand has the possibility of uplifting or destroying earth, while the prancing horse shows the spirit of independence. Quang again is creating from the need to speak for justice. The sum of this work, primarily the poems, creates the hair-raising surprise of finding a rare and brilliant talent with emotional insight.
Professor Betty J. Cornell

 

 INTRODUCTION

Bright-Quang is a rare combination, a writer and artist. His work has sincerity as its strongest element. He has avoided the postmodern dilemma of meaninglessness. As Marc Chagall said, " Someone told me that sincerity is out of fashion, and that explains everything". Like Chagall, Bright-Quang's work is sincere and honest, and come from his real life experiences, it is not derivative. Him and his people, the Vietnamese, have endured the twin hells of war and communist repression. But his honesty and optimism sustain him and nourish his work, transcending the political to become intimate and personal. His writing has the peace of a soul at ease with itself, but the view of a terror, which few of us have had to know, except for a few rare instances in our lives. It brings a rare clarity of the effects of repression and corruption, in all of its terrible implication, more powerful and frightening than even the classic, A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovih. It is a tribute that he can write and know of such things first hand and keep his balance and even a sense of humor. More than just writing, it is his story and the story of his people. His sculpture has the same honesty and sincerity. His most powerful work Controlling has a monumental presence, while maintaining the ambiguity of most great works. Like the monumental heads of Constantine in Rome, it goes beyond the political to become its own icon, memorable and unique. It lends itself to multiple interpretations to avoid becoming propagandistic. Even his portraits of the president transcend the political, he has made them his own. They are as much about Bright-Quang as they are about the sitters. Bright-Quang has been creating for many years, but his work still has the energy and enthusiasm of a young artist. We look forward to many more years of his excellent and memorable work.

Professor Jerry DeCamp.

INTRODUCTION

Poetry and ART is collection of poems, saying, sculpture pictures and short essays; Some poetic selections offer comments on love, nature, war, human rights, and the transitory status of mankind. Others, through the juxtaposition of images, provide some insight into the difficulties and contrasting emotions of a people who begin newa after being forced to leave all that has been earned and all that is familiar. Still other shorter selections offer sage advice under the heading of "Bright Quang Said." Many of the same themes set forth in the poetic selections are repeated in the collections of essays, short stories, and picture of sculptures. These appear to more directly reflect the myriad interests and experiences of the author and artist.
This small volume is impressive, indeed, for a student who still struggles to unlock the intricacies of the English language so that he may sculpt his thoughts in the language of his adopted country.

AMY L.HENRY
English Instructor.
Canada College, Redwood City, CA.April 14, 1998

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