"Three and a half stars

Healing Arts Indy, 805 S. Meridian (across from Shapiro’s Deli)

Healing Arts Indy aims to be a community venue “to feed body, mind and spirit.” Nhat Tran’s luminous abstract paintings do just that. Tran, a native of Vietnam who now calls Indianapolis home, is known internationally for her contemporary urushi lacquer paintings. Urushi lacquer is not an industrial synthetic material, but a milky sap from a tree of the same name applied in various coatings on wood. The ancient process of preparing the sap — from warming to filtering to storing it in wooden barrels — reminds me of creating wine. And Tran’s work is like fine wine: richly textured, vibrantly hued and with great balance and finish. In the foyer (enter through back courtyard) is the four-panel “Beyond the River’s Skin.” An edge of each part has an irregular cut, such as a half circle, which dips into a straight side. Topographical-like surfaces emit earthy colors that radiate from the inside out like a riverbed reflected. This internal-mirror quality of lacquer provides amazing depth lacking, by comparison, in Tran’s older encaustics. She employs the lacquer exquisitely in “A Mystery Man.” A figure emerges like a mosaic monk cloaked in rapid lines, perhaps from another time, but still very present. Through December; 317-955-7811, www.healingartsindy.com.

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