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Vietnam artists wow Sydney

Young Woman, oil, by Mai Anh
Three Vietnamese artists, different in styles, but all showing tantalising glimpses of their native country, have been regaling visitors to their show in Sydney, Australia.
The aptly named Visions of Viet Nam has on show 32 oil paintings by Mai Anh, Hoang Duc Loc and Tran Thanh, all offering visitors a peek at Viet Nam and its people, and stimulating a desire to discover its landscapes and lifestyle.

Mai Anh’s paintings are full of subtle emotion.They suggest rather than describe, and behind each picture seems to be a tale in brief. They are not noisy or showy, but keenly express life’s experiences.

There is a wide range of expression in her paintings. An affectionate look at the countryside – the soft green of bamboo hedges, palm trees and the even softer blues of water and sky – reflects her compassion for the people there.

The gloomy shapes of women and their conical hats are set against a background of reds, browns and greyish-yellows.

Mai Anh’s artistic world is full of magic seduction. Her portraits are somewhat like the artist herself: powerful and expressive, yet essentially feminine.

Hoang Duc Loc’s tryst with painting began long ago but only recently has he attained fame. His style is serene, understated.

He makes landscapes of Ha Noi – colonial-era streets of the ’60s and ’70s or from a pre-war age. Balconies, staircases and roofs appear behind great trees, while small, empty roads are adorned with falling leaves and figures in ao dai. The artist catches the colours and light of an autumn afternoon in the streets, a kind of transparent light that seems to rue the passing of sunny days.

Tran Thanh, the third of the trio, endeavours to reconcile between impressionism and
realism; flowers, leaves and wooden things, brick and limestone all appear abstract.

A window with a flower vase resembles the house’s eye. An old, walled gate of motley colours promises cosiness and frankness. A panorama of the city surrounding the window makes the picture delightful.

The show will continue through June at the Maclaren Roberts Gallery. — VNS

Reprinted with permission from VietNam News Agency


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