The Painter Who Discovers Himself in Silk

By C. David Thomas According to Vietnamese legend, in the second century BC a beautiful princess, named Hoang Phu Thieu Hoa , discovered small caterpillars ( later known as silkworms ) spinning cocoons of fine thread. She took this knowledge to the nearby villages of Co Do and Van Sa located in the Ba Vi District of Son Tay Province . The weavers in these villages refined the silk thread and spread their knowledge through the sixty neighboring villages. In the 11th century Queen Nguyen … [Read more...]

A Narrative of Mirrors

Asian Art News, 1999 By Ian Findlay In a rush to modernity, many contemporary Vietnamese artists have discarded their nation's past. Its legends, myths, cruelties, and inequities do not inspire them. But this is not so for Hanoi-born lacquer artists, Bui Huu Hung. His art digs deep into the past in order that it may reflect the present. Hung bolds up a variety of mirrors, sometimes clear, sometimes opaque, in which his often sad narratives connect. In the rush to modernity, there are many … [Read more...]