Nothing But Winter: Drowning in the Acid Bath of Nguyễn Duy Trí’s Madness

The frigid air bites. Skeletal trees claw at a leaden sky, their branches etched with the stark calligraphy of despair. In this desolate realm, winter holds absolute dominion. But beneath the frosted surface, within the echoing halls of a forgotten gallery, something stirs. It is the whispered echo of madness, the chilling symphony of a mind teetering on the precipice of oblivion. Welcome to the world of Nguyễn Duy Trí’s “Acid Madness.”

Delving into the Depths

Trí, a Vietnamese artist whose talent is as undeniable as his demons, invites us into the labyrinthine corridors of his psyche. This is not a mere exhibition; it’s a visceral confrontation, a headfirst plunge into the swirling vortex of his inner turmoil. Each canvas pulsates with a feverish intensity, a kaleidoscope of distorted figures and landscapes awash in the sickly greens and bruised purples of a bad trip.

Echoes of Trauma

The ghosts of Trí’s past permeate the exhibition. The Vietnam War casts a long shadow, its horrors echoing in the skeletal forms and ravaged faces that populate his paintings. The trauma bleeds into the very fabric of the works, each brushstroke a searing indictment of the violence and suffering he witnessed.

Surreal Landscapes

But “Acid Madness” transcends the confines of personal history. It delves into the realm of the surreal, where reality melts like wax in a furnace. Buildings contort into impossible angles, morphing into monstrous creatures that leer from the canvas. Figures emerge from swirling mists, their eyes blank pits of existential dread. The familiar dissolves into the alien, leaving us adrift in a sea of unsettling dreamscapes.

Acid-Tinged Visions

The influence of Trí’s LSD experimentation is undeniable. The paintings vibrate with a lysergic intensity, colors bleeding into each other, forms morphing and pulsating. It’s a visual cacophony, a psychedelic oratorio that both repulses and enthralls. Yet, amidst the chaos, there’s a strange beauty, a raw honesty that strips bare the human condition in all its terrifying complexity.

Fragmented Narratives

The narratives in Trí’s work are as fractured as his psyche. Figures appear and disappear, their stories whispered in cryptic symbols and indecipherable scrawls. It’s a puzzle without a solution, a tapestry woven from fragments of memory and hallucination. Yet, in this very ambiguity lies the power of the art. It compels us to engage, to become active participants in the construction of meaning.

Beauty in the Abyss

Despite the darkness that pervades “Acid Madness,” there’s a glimmer of hope. In the midst of the despair, we find moments of tenderness, fleeting glimpses of a soul yearning for connection. A solitary figure gazes longingly at the moon, bathed in its gentle luminescence. A pair of lovers embrace, their silhouettes merging against a backdrop of swirling stars. These moments, though scarce, remind us of the human capacity for love and resilience, even in the face of unimaginable darkness.


Emerging from the exhibition is like blinking in the harshness of daylight after a fever dream. We carry the echoes of Trí’s madness with us, the unsettling beauty of his visions etched upon our minds. “Acid Madness” is not for the faint of heart. It’s a brutal confrontation with the darkest corners of the human psyche, a challenge to our notions of sanity and reality. But for those brave enough to venture into its depths, it offers a profound and unforgettable experience, a testament to the raw power of art to confront our demons and illuminate the depths of our humanity.


  • What inspired the name “Acid Madness”?

Trí’s LSD experimentation played a significant role in the creation of the artworks, hence the reference to “acid.” The “madness” refers to the artist’s exploration of the darker aspects of human psychology and the surreal, dreamlike quality of his paintings.

  • Is “Acid Madness” appropriate for all ages?

Due to the disturbing nature of some of the imagery and its exploration of mature themes, the exhibition may not be suitable for young audiences.

  • What artistic techniques does Trí use?

Trí incorporates a variety of techniques in his work, including oil painting, collage, and mixed media. He’s known for his expressive brushwork, bold colors, and unconventional use of materials.

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