Chinatown Soup is pleased to present Dichotomy of Desire, a dual exhibition featuring works by Shohei Kondo and Anh Thuy Nguyen, curated by Angie Phrasavath.

Desire is a common theme for artistic exploration, but Kondo and Nguyen are unique in their collaborative approach. Simultaneously investigating the subject in relation to the body and through object-oriented methodology, each artist contrasts in tone and personal proximity.

Through laughter and pain, the duo presents a dichotomy of visual lyricism that is at once individualistic and dialectic. 

Kondo’s colorful paintings bear the influence of 1960s Pop Art and 1980s Simulationism. Through handmade brush strokes perfected to match the appearance of mechanical production, his work expresses distance from the body despite their intimate content. Representations of bodies in sexual poses are flattened and abstracted into computer-like sketches, rendering the subject casual and comical. Kondo’s work mocks the cultural ideology of eroticism by remarks of pleasure, laughter, and relief.

Anh Thuy Nguyen’s sculptures maintain a dramatic abjection. In contrast to Kondo, Nguyen’s practice dwells within the body, rendering a visceral engagement with subject. Fleshy silicone paired with solid, cold metal create sculptural “body tools” that encourage imagination of desired longing between the bodies while refuting a real chance of closing their actual distance. Her work probes the contemporary aporia of desire which is scaffolded by agony and impossibility.

Shohei Kondo (b. 1986, Japan) is a New York-based artist from Japan. His work has been exhibited internationally, at venues such as  Amakei Gallery (Japan), China Academy of Arts Museum (China), and SVA Chelsea Gallery (United States). He is the recipient of the Sanwa Award (Japan), and his work is part of private collections in the United States and Japan. Kondo holds a BA in Film Studies from Takarazuka University of Arts and an MFA in Fine Art from the School of Visual Arts in New York.

Anh Thuy Nguyen (b. 1993) is an artist from Hanoi, Viet Nam. She earned an MFA in Fine Art from School of Visual Arts (2018) and a BA in Studio Art and English (Writing) from DePauw University (2015). Anh Thuy has exhibited at Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery, Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York), BOSI Contemporary, The Java Project, Pfizer Factory, Trestle Gallery, and Nha San Collective (Hanoi, Viet Nam) among others. Residencies include Brooklyn Art Space and Vermont Studio Center. She is currently a member of Brooklyn Art Space –Trestle Projects and Adjunct Professor at Hudson County Community College (NJ). 

Angie Phrasavath (b. 1995) is from Newport, Rhode Island. She obtained her BA in both Political Science and Art History from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. From there, she earned her MA from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in Art Business. She is currently the Growth Manager of Eazel, a technology platform focused on accessibility and education for the visual arts based in New York, and enjoys publishing articles about contemporary art. 

Chinatown Soup