East and West Bridge

Friends No. 1 (80x60 cm) Tempera

I started to paint when I was 6 years old. At the age of 10, every year, I spent 3 months of my summer holiday in my uncle Nguyen Tien Chung's house, in Tay-Ho village, a small village in the north of Hanoi near West-lake. Nguyen Tien Chung was a well-known painter in Vietnam and he was a teacher at Vietnamese Fine-Art School in Hanoi. My uncle was the first person showing me the beauty of art. Thanks to him, I fell deep in love with Vietnamese folk arts, especially the architect structure, and … [Read more...]

Private Moments

6-Hoang-Tram-va-hoc-tro-hoa-si-Nguyen-Thanh-Binh

From Asian Art News, 1996 By Ian Findlay Brown While many contemporary Vietnamese artists struggle with the desire to create experimental art for the international art market, Nguyen Thanh Binh's canvasses reflect a world of poetic private moments. Over the past seven years, the appearance of Vietnamese contemporary art on the international art market was a singular surprise. For some people, there was a sense of revelation in the variety of style and the richness of the art from a … [Read more...]

Layers of Meaning

Nguyen Quang Huy in an opening ceremony

From Asian Art News 2005 By Bradford Edwards Last year, the 22-year-old Singaporean actor and director who had a great passion for Xuan Phai's paintings wanted to bring the artistic life of painter Xuan Phai on stage. So Benny Lim met the late painter's son Bui Thanh Phuong to ask for permission to stage a monologue play about his father. The play in which Benny Lim acted as Bui Xuan Phai and together with four supporting artists featured extracts of cheo (popular opera), the art that … [Read more...]

Exalting in the glories of a humble master

namson

His gait was crooked, yet firm. His greying beard, thick near-sighted glasses and unadorned garb were deceiving, veiling an authoritative presence that rebounded with each of his steady steps. Nam Son held me captive from the moment he entered my first class at the Indochina College of Fine Art. Viet Nam’s most famous artist, the great professor proved an inspirational figure to me in the 1940s. Every day after his drawing class finished, I had the pleasure of his company as we rode … [Read more...]

The Collector’s Confessions

Tran Hau Tuan

Reprinted from Contemporary Vietnam Art I was born in Hanoi. A child of a couple of doctors, I grew up in an army hospital living quarter. We led a simple and needy life. All of us children of army men lived in uniformly narrow rooms, listened to the same music broadcast by the Voice of Vietnam, seldom had good books to read and myself never saw an art book. At the age of 14, as a high school student, I got new friends whose parents belonged to various social sectors. I had the unexpected … [Read more...]

Nam Son’s painting at French national museum

namson (1)

  At the website of the Ministry of Culture of France at www.culture.fr introduce the list of 10,140 painters having works bought by the French State for display at the French national museum system. Along with names of famous painters such as Leonard de Vinci, Cezanne, Degas, Gauguin, Goya, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rodin...., there is a Vietnamese name - painter Nguyen Nam Son - with the painting 'Cho Gao Ben Song Hong' (Rice Market by Red River) which was exhibited in Paris in 1930. Who … [Read more...]

Bùi Xuân Phái’s Artistic Career

Bui Xuan Phai - Hang Bac

Bùi Xuân Phái was born in 1920 and died in 1988 in Hà Nội. He graduated from the Painting Section of the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts d’Indochine (1941-1945 class), joined the Resistance, took part in many group exhibitions in the free zone. In 1952, he came back to Hà Nội and lived and worked at Nº87 Thuốc Bắc street until his death. From 1956 to 1957, Bùi Xuân Phái taught at the Hà Nội Fine Arts College. As a sequel to the Nhân Văn – Giai Phẩm (Humanism – Belles Lettres) movement, he was … [Read more...]

Nguyen Sang – Huge and Tender

Nguyen sang chan dung

In the early 70's, taken by a friend on a visit to Nguyen Sang at his walk-up on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, I already decided that he was an artist of first importance of our contemporary art after 1945. This was prevailed upon me by a small-size self-portrait of light brown-yellow color in a solid wooden frame, which seemed too big for the frailty of the painting. The whole thing - the bald head, the sinewy neck, the seemingly dehydrated and hardened muscles - seemed inanimate like a big round … [Read more...]

Nguyen Sang – who travel commitment to the arts

nguyen sang - cogaivahoasen

"If it was not art, I have the sprayed full of money I would step on the road that goes. Also for art, I can pick up a penny each to live ", that is the motto of Nguyen Sang, the artist has dedicated his life to art. With the transformation determination, pieces of colored zones hands several rooms, the structure suddenly bold next to the image layout and color longer than traditional academic, Nguyen Sang have mastered all materials, from oil painting to lacquer, from silk to pastels. The … [Read more...]