Some feeling when enjoying pictures of Bui Xuan Phai

To help audiences basically understanding style of the painter Bui Xuan Phai, following we give the features in portions of his subject.

“Phai Street”
The first discovery of painter Bui Xuan Phai about streets is “Hang Phen Street” oil-painting (1940), which was drawn before the painter entered Indochina Arts college. Then this picture is sent to the Tokyo – Japan exhibition, and the buyer immediately.

The initiation from 1950 to 1960:
From 1950 to 1960, Bui Xuan Phai has not specified in any subject, he usually painted pictures accidentally according to modern school of that period, typically such as nude paintings and still-life pictures which was painted by solid school. He also had some pictures painting ancient cities which was painted carefully with many details but not unique (in the next stage, his pictures always generalized and pruned many details of reality). Hang Thiec picture (oil-painting) was painted in 1952, the signature in the right corner show that the painter signed both surname and name. Writer Nguyen Tuan has displayed this picture in his living-room for a long time.

Can divide the subject about ancient Hanoi of Bui Xuan Phai into 3 periods
– From 1960 to 1970: The Brown
– From 1970 to 1980: The Gray
– From 1980 to 1988: The Deep blue

The Brown period from 1960 to 1970
The Brown period marked the most specific style, spirit of King’s old town. Drawings in this period reflect the scenery of the old town of Hanoi purest. Also easily understanding that most of old Hanoians and judges of painting often love this period even more, meanwhile young people and foreingers love Deep Blue period.
His pictures in this stage teemed with deep sadness, loneliness, being nostalgic, as regretting his died youth, city is often without people, houses with front doors always closed with pensive figure, deep brown roofs of the old town were dormant under heavy gray sky as forecasting a storm soonly rush down. Particular thing is that cells are described by a dark line.
This is the most flourish and also the poorest period in art career of Bui Xuan Phai. He entered the game with figure and color during the difficult period of the country, so his works seem deep sad, mournful features, and loneliness. His pictures are like a mean to clear way sadness of inner feeling as well as awareness about his powerless in face of situation.
Currently, pictures which are fixed the highest price by collectors are works painted is during The Brown period. For example, the ” resistance Hanoi ” (painting in 1966) under collection of Tran Hau Tuan was started as the USD 200,000 internationally.

The Grey period from 1970 to 1980

Should not understand that bring us see the Color it is arranged that period. Often experts just at first glance can know right that picture is painted in any decade, by outside color and style of painting, they also base on scenes and people in his pictures.
the most prominent figure in The Gray period is that on the street there is no longer men wearing ‘ao dai’ and taking umbrellas. Peddlers also wear other kind of clothes, windows were carefully painted and more details, wagons were not allowed into the city again so they did not present in his works.
In 1970s, the painter felt into difficult, poor situation, both economic and spiritual. In the log, he wrote: “Life is fun seeing what? Only found horrible and horrible…” In this period, Bui Xuan Phai painted ancient Hanoi by pastel, many were drawn on newspaper, were noted with gray color. In his pictures, city was less lonely, thoughtful, layout was liberal and gentle, many of this were abstract, many were experiemental, etc. This is the period of his excitement and composed many pictures and other topics in his career

The Deep Blue period from 1980 to 1988
Last 8 years of life, works by painter Bui Xuan Phai were invited to exhibitions in many countries, so the Vietnamese and the public worldwide know his name more. Now his new city pictures were lighter, appeared warm colors of sun, colors of red clothes
Value of the old town is the value of time accumulating in roof tiles, and their moss walls. Bui Xuan Phai also commented that in the ancient has “the color of time”. Time also makes his pictures more and more valuable, since each was the only change of some coffee taels, some pack of cigarettes in subsidy period, to each picture is a heritage according to the law of “surplus value of time.” However, time has done too slow for painter Bui Xuan Phai, in other words he is not alive to receive his achievements.

Traditional operetta (not Cross)
In 1961, Bui Xuan Phai must start designing the stage, customing, making up for each charater in traditional operetta, and the first play was “soi to vang”. This is karma that help him to meet and familiarlize with popular opera, skillfully captured rhythm and image of popular opera, since then displayed the beauty of Popular opera, and created his own view by painting language
Apart from city topic which made him “gain laurels”, made art circle in the country and worldwide enjoy overzealously, Bui Xuan Gender Phai also had “the hammer” topic is Popular opera. His topic also occupied an absolute position in Vietnam’s painting, when it comes to pictures of the popular opera, it is mandatory to include Bui Xuan Phai firstly with excellent works about this topic, and no one can negative that “cheo phai” was the object of monolatry and reached the peak of beauty in painting with the view about this traditional theatrics. It can be said that excellent works about popular opera painted by Bui Xuan Phai did dampen any artist who want to try this subject. They do not have exact statistics how many pictures about this topic, but they know the first was painted in 1961. In this topic, his pictures are less thoughtful, less lonely than city pictures, pictures about popular opera of Bui xuan Phai contained traditional aesthetic of villages in the North of Vietnam. Drunk comedians, “he gay”, “dao lech”, “dao thuong”, girls look at them in mirror, comb, scenes of activities in backstage of actors when they change clothes before performing … were brought back by painting language which is demotic as performance of popular opera. Critics said that aesthetic treatment of Bui Xuan Phai with popular opera is friendly and compassion, he automatically entered into the festival with the sound and rhythm of villages in the northern delta in the sense of discovering national painting color. Bui Xuan Phai created an own language for popular opera by language of figure and color. His characters, the thousand-year variability of rural appear full of poetry, profound and delicate. Differing from ancient city, in pictures about popular opera, with illustration for book of “he cheo” in 1981, and illustration for poetry of Ho Xuan Huong, make us discover Bui Xuan Phai younger, funny, and “play pranks”.
I know one of picture about popular opera of BXP was fixed prize USD 50,000 by the world’s Collection International bid, but the owner declined selling. Still know that prices, money, are outside value of art, because numbers will not be able to manifest anything and not always accurate, there may be works of other Vietnam painters will be fixed higher price than works of Bui Xuan Phai, but considering dedication to the national culture with many topics and be excellent as heritage of BXP has left for life, before and after him, there no one can do so. Bui Xuan Phai, personality and talent to this day remains a top challenge of other Vietnam painters, and they also recognize that it’s hard to overcome.

Portrait Painting
Friends and colleagues admire polished, fine style in portrait topic of BXP, not in Ancient Hanoi topic, despite in this topic he is called “king of ancient city”. He drew many portraits, in most of his portrait paintings, characters was usually very friendly with the painter such as his wife, brothers, neighbors, friends colleagues …
In each of his portraits, they noticed, the picture painted by the touch of the master, Sharp, sophisticated, seems impregnated soul or mind the deep, exposure characteristics of each people, from an illiterate farmer, a fat militia, a swollen woman who sell vegetables, a painting collector, an writer, etc, viewers do not need to see the name of the picture can also identify characters he described. People who live at the same age of Bui Xuan Phai still remember memories about banquets of wine with the presence of the painter Bui Xuan Phai, as a habit, they used to give hime a paper and a brush, that was the funniest of the party, most of them were painters, (this is now very rare and no longer see it happening) gathered around him, saw he drawing portrait on the spot. Bui Xuan Phai drew portrait very quickly and made people very surprised because it was true to life. If someone was chosen as the model (to draw samples), he was very excited and honored. Finally, when the portrait was completed, usually that are usually donated to the host of party. However, if the party was organized at the painter’ house, he would offer to one of women in the party.

Nude painting
Bui Xuan Phai was also fond of nude painting topic and he drew much since 1960, that is when he gained the room of light energy as well as passion of female body beauty. At that time, he and colleagues had a gallery, clubbed together to hire model. Half century has passed, but those people still remember some models: Miss Hoa, miss Thom …
It seemed to be groundness that old gentle and shy painter Bui Xuan Phai made people surprised by his small nude paintings. Positions which he drew by heart had become special figure of Phai and typical figure of Vietnam women; bended back, pants dropped down while preparing to shower, girls in Ho Xuan Huong’s poetry with figures which made “honorable men “ . The pleasure: my nude paintings are only past idea of lost time. however, enjoying his paintings, we found that Bui Xuan Phai is a person suffering from practice Descriptive Geometry, we affirm he was the best at drawing painting. So the imagination of him is that he understood and knew each rhythm and each figure. the more erotic they draw when they are older is not strange, fiend Picasso was also typical of this.

Cutting site, the paper

Cut paper – is one of the rare Bui Xuan Phai on the old town, mid-autumn festival, about Happy New Year, Girls in ‘ao dai’ by Guom Lake, still- life … apart from, in the last days of his life, BXP had an unique himself portrait paper tearing picture. One friend of the painter took a photograph, enlarged, and offered to the painter, after that the painter used nail to take off paper in the surface of picture, left parts he considered to be necessary. This picture made viewers very touched because of its thrilling beauty.

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