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3rd Feb -  25th Feb 2023

Durian Revolution

Hoa Dung Clerget

Clerget’s practice is centred on the artisanal production of objects that take on a narrative dimension on the themes of the domestic and displacement. Her works affirm their materiality through gestures borrowed from everyday life, the ones of the women in her family and community.

For Durian Revolution, Clerget has staged a reimagining of the nail salon, where only fluids and odours - both toxic and attractive - remain. Taking inspiration from the durian fruit, hyperbolic in its soft flesh and spiked shell, exterior beauty and fetid stench, Durian Revolution features a new series of three-dimensional paintings made with the techniques and materials of Nail Art.

The defensive odour of the durian, from which these paintings derive their title, becomes a distant reference; a sensation evoked by metonymy and substitution. Instead, it is replaced by the toxic smells of acetone and chemical acrylic that the artist has been exposed to for several months.

By projecting the fruit onto the canvas, Clerget reverses its status as food and pays homage to its cultural heritage. She uses nail polish as a ready-made, and recent nail art techniques as a painting process, thus amalgamating the categories of nail art and art, subculture and ‘high’ culture.

Fluid and ephemeral, ‘Narcomorphous’ acts as a writhing installation around which the series of paintings orbit. Taking inspiration from the Quynh Flower (Queen of the Night) that blooms for one night a year, the installation erupts and retreats across the gallery floor, its gestural unpredictability indicative of its own making process.

Durian Revolution unites two sensory shields of armour through an investigation into the toxicity of beauty, women’s labour, and the nail salon as instigator of social transgression, imagination and transformation within diasporic communities.

Hoa Dung Clerget (b. 1985, France) lives and works in the UK. She holds a Masters in Painting from Royal College of Art and BA Hons in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins.

Recent group exhibitions include: ‘The Expanse in-between’, Grove Collective (2022); ‘Un/Sense’, Christie’s (2022); ‘Paradise’, curated by Marta Orsola Sironi, with Harlesden High Street in Lecce, Italy (2022); ’Mothering’, Kupfer Project
(2022); ‘Die Kunst des Vergessens, die Kunst des Erinnerns’ curated by P. Hostalery, Gallery Brockstedt, Berlin (2022); ‘Interface’, Lille Grand Palais, curated by Annuschka Leung (2022); ‘Love Strata’, Lychee One (2021); London Grads Now,
Saatchi Gallery (2021).