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Prolific artist finds her feet in twilight age

VNS- Ever since Kim Xuyen discovered a hidden artistic talent, the 62 year old has been painting up a storm.

And after completing over 300 paintings in just five months, Xuyen's solo exhibition has won acclaim from professional artists and ordinary art lovers alike.

Xuyen discovered her passion for painting purely by chance. During Tet, the Culture House in HCM City's District 10 organised an exhibition featuring the ancient art of calligraphy.

"When I saw the works, I suddenly had an idea. I used a straw and sucked water colour paint into it, then I blew the colours onto paper, creating five paintings of flowers and leaves," Xuyen said.

These five paintings were sold immediately after being displayed at the calligraphy exhibition.

Xuyen then started painting, and was soon consumed by her new-found hobby.

"I forgot to eat and sleep for several days," said Xuyen, who is a member of District 10's Poets' Club.

She showed her first 40 paintings to friends and relatives. "After they saw my work, they encouraged me to take up painting on a more regular basis." said Xuyen.

She selected 110 paintings for her current exhibition.

Each of the paintings is strikingly distinctive, bearing no resemblance to the work of other artists and uninfluenced by any school of art.

Most display a rich symbolism which is neither ambiguous nor overwhelming. Her plainly stylised objects and human figures are rendered in an appealingly naive manner, as simple and straightforward as the subjects she describes.

Her paintings evoke contemplation and lead viewers into an almost mythological world.

Subject matter such as the relationships between men and women or between humans and nature emerge fluently from Xuyen's brush. When asked about her artistic style and subject choice, Xuyen replies, "I only paint what I feel... it is about my feelings."

VASC Orient


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