For a nation with an history that goes back thousands of years, Vietnamese contemporary art is relatively young. It began a mere 75 years ago with a group of artists who were trained at the Indochina School of Fine Arts (Ecole des Baux Arts de l'Indochine) of Ha Noi. With their acquired training from French instructors, the artists of this inceptive period re-discovered the beauty of the native landscape saw through a Western lens. They romanticized life and the people and painted these subjects … [Read more...]

Art Tradition Emerges from Colonial Past

The Hong Kong Standard, 1998 By Richard Frost The French did little for the Vietnamese people during their 56-year colonial rule, because they never felt there was any gain in the development or education of the country. The major effect of their rule was to harden Vietnamese resolve for independence, the strength of which was displayed against French and American troops during the two wars in Indochina. But this dark colonial legacy contained a spark of light. In the 1920s an art college, … [Read more...]

A brief history of Art in Vietnam

Beautiful art had been produced in Vietnam for centuries. It was created in sculptures of many media, woodblocks, ceramics, lacquer works, embroidered art, silk paintings, ink on rice paper, etc. It was stamped, inside and out, on every pagoda, temple and palace from one end of the country to the other. It was distinctly oriental based upon the art forms of the Chinese and Japanese, local in nature, but not uniquely Vietnamese, and not universally known. That changed in 1925 during the period … [Read more...]

Lacquer Artists of Vietnam

Arts of Asia January - February 2002 By Kerry Nguyen Long The development of lacquer as a medium for the artist is one of the more singnificant a chievement in the art world of 20th century Vietnam. Although China produced lacquered folding screens with landscape and traditional decorative imagery, as a medium for the artist lacquer did not hold appeal.This also seems to have been the case in those other countries that have a traditional of lacquer handicaft production. Thus, it was only … [Read more...]

An Introduction to the Lacquer Art of Vietnam

by Bang Sy TrucArtist, Art Critic and Art Historian March 8, 2004 "Not every person is allergic to lacquer or subject to ghost obsession." This proverb is widely known in Vietnam. It usually refers to circumstances governed by the laws of fate. Literally, it also realistically and forcefully reflects the mysterious power of "black lacquer." Lacquer is the resin of certain trees growing only in East Asia whose characteristics vary: Rhus succedanea in Vietnam, Rhus verniciera in Japan … [Read more...]