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Artist displays his unique take on reality in new show (Jan 29, 2003)

HA NOI — Pablo Picasso once said "I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them." Vietnamese painter Nguyen Cuong follows this philosophy.

His current show, held at the capital city’s Exhibition House, showcases his lacquer and oil-on-canvas artworks that are a fusion of many artistic media and styles.

"I see appearing and perishing elements continually around me in the outside environment, which inspires my drawings," Cuong says.

The middle-aged man fleshes out these sentiments, creating canvasses where reality is difficult to discern - a fusion of complete abstraction and elements of surreality.

"I am so in love with reality that I continually pursue ways to convey it to others," he said. "Sometimes, I feel as if I’ve accomplished a nice painting, yet, sometimes I sense beauty as something so fragile and distant, so hard to capture successfully."

Fellow painter To Ngoc Thanh said: "Cuong’s abstraction gauges surrealism. His techniques are varying, resulting in the vibration of strokes and the moderation of colours."

The son of late celebrated painter To Ngoc Van, renowned for his Girl Next to the Lily didnot spare praising words for the exhibition .

The artist often invokes fish to carry his fluctuating sentiments. His Oriental philosophy comes through in his paintings that express stillness in motion and vice versa.

Born in 1943 in northern Hai Phong city, the artist studied art in Hungary and in Viet Nam at the Fine Arts College between 1969 and 1974. His well-respected paintings are a creation from his fusion of cultural influences.

Now a member of the Viet Nam Fine Art Association, painting is the voice he uses to tell his life story.

Nguyen Cuong’s exhibition is open through the end of January at the Exhibition House, 16 Ngo Quyen Street. — VNS

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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