Bui Xuan Phai in his son’s eyes – Part I

The letter in wardrobe In fact, I was almost his adviser and assistant in most of problems that he found it difficult to solve. When talking to each other he used to call me "buddy", and my mother, for she found this way unreasonable, interfered: "Why do you call him buddy? You've made father-and-son talking the way of friends taking". There is a memory with father that I could never forget. At that time, I was just seventeen. My eyes started facing with problems. I needed short-sighted glasses … [Read more...]

Local art smashes auction record


Six figures: The Quiet Moment (left), which Le Pho painted in 1938, was sold for US$378,300 at the Christie's Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art auction on November 22 while Nguyen Phan Chanh's The Betel Nut Seller from 1931 was sold for more than $409,000. As many as 87 paintings were up for sale including three by Pho and Chanh. by Bang Van HCM CITY (VNS) - Days after noted Vietnamese artist Le Pho's View from the Hilltop set a new auction record, art collector Nguyen Minh still has a … [Read more...]

Book: Duong Bich Lien

Category: Artists, Individual Unit Price: US$40.00 Description: One of Vietnam’s important artist, who lived from 1924 -1988, is remembered in this, first book about him, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of his death. ”To view the works of Duong Bich Lien is to emphasize with the faithful life of an artist who voluntarily chose the silent language of painting as his own? said Thai Ba Van. Published in 2003 by Fine Art Publishing House, Vietnam. 112 pages, hard cover, 21cm x 26 cm. … [Read more...]

New fine arts center to expose fakes

new art center

 A new center in Vietnam will work to protect the local fine arts market by exposing fakes and copycats, artists told a conference in Hanoi last week. The conference at Vietnam Fine Arts Museum collected opinions on exactly how the Fine Arts Assessment Center, a facility to be established at the museum, would be organized and run. An opening date for the center was yet to be made clear. Painters at the conference expressed their concern that fake and copycat paintings may be on display … [Read more...]

The emergence of Vietnamese contemporary art

For some years after Reunification socialist realist art continued to hold sway in the north, with the result that most of the works featured in the National Art Exhibitions of 1976, 1980, 1982 and 1985 were dominated by themes of revolutionary struggle and the drive for socialist reconstruction. During this period the country faced severe economic difficulties and art materials, particularly paint, were of low quality and in extremely short supply. However, throughout this period the so-called … [Read more...]

Oil Painting

Nguyen Do Cung

From "Vietnam Contemporary Art", 1996 By The Hanoi Fine Arts Publisher After the restoration of peace, Tran Van Can produced a canvas Retying the rope of the irrigation scoop, which was a creation of high professional level he had long mastered. Duong Bich Lien looked at things in a global way, he brought landscapes and scenes to the level of symbols. In his canvas Harvest, the author has simplified to the utmost the scene of harvest: only golden waves succeeding one another to the … [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...]

A story about painter Duong Bich Lien

Duong Bich Lien and Bui Xuan Phai (photo taken in 1984)

- Bui Thanh Phuong - Duong Bich Lien (1924-1988) threw himself and dedicated for art to a level that he almost ignore and forgot his private happiness and emotion. He lived alone and self-contained and almost separated from the outside world. When startling and wishing to get married that his hair was almost white as lime. However, there was a paradox that he also had some private, secretive loves in his artistry but emotional life. In last years of life, his health collapsed quickly. This … [Read more...]

Crossing cultural boundaries

from Impressions and Expressions - Vietnamese Contemporary Painting The origin of artistic visual expression in Vietnam, a hybrid like its Southeast Asian neighbours, can be traced back to its 2,500-year-old culture that started in the Neolithic Age and steadily developed until the end of the Iron Age when Chinese invaders entered from the north. By the second century BC, foreign influences started to infiltrate into the Dong Son civilization that is widely believed to have originated in … [Read more...]

Vietnamese Art, an overview

Through the Upheavals of History Compared to other Asian countries, and according to several art commentators,Vietnam was the earliest to merge into the the main stream of modern art, as defined by the West, in both form and content. Such a fact can be easily seen with the coming into existence of Ecole Des Beaux Arts (Indochina's SchoolofFine Art) in the early 1930s, with the presence of professors fromFrance. Western style in technique and the use of color was what the first student … [Read more...]