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Art exhibit offers old themes and new ideas (August 19, 2003)

Art exhibit offers old themes and new ideas
A new exhibit at the HCM City Fine Arts Museum is giving visitors a taste of the nation’s atmosphere during wartime.

The exhibit of more than 70 paintings and statues, organised by the Viet Nam Fine Arts Association (VFAA), will be one of the city’s most important cultural events this year. Many of the artworks in the exhibit have received top prizes from the association.

The works of 47 artists feature historical events during the wars from 1945 to 1975, and daily life in Viet Nam, especially in remote areas.

Well-known artist Huynh Phuong Dong says that many Vietnamese artists choose the themes of love and war for their work. Dong sent his favorite painting, Nhung Dua Con Cua Bau Troi Binh Gia (The Binh Gia Children), which portrays the daily life and spiritual journey of Vietnamese soldiers during the days of the American War.

"Through these works, audiences can more clearly understand the country and its history, and it also gives the country a good feeling," said Dong.

Other striking works are Ngay Ay Dien Bien (Dien Bien Phu in the Past), Nhung Nguoi Bat Khuat ( Indomitable Heroes) and Bao Ve Cau Ham Rong ( Saving Ham Rong Bridge), created by Pham Thanh Tam, Vo Xuong and Nguyen Thanh Minh, respectively.

Despite the somber theme, the artists’ skillful use of oils, lacquers, and bright colours has made the exhibit popular with art critics and laypeople alike.

The highlight of the exhibition are the VFAA prizes selected this year, all of which feature the character and lifestyle of the country’s ethnic minority groups.

The association’s first prize went to artist Nguyen Thanh Son for painting Giao Cam Am Duong (The Sympathetic Feeling between Yin and Yang). The work is based on the culture of the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) people, and is emphasises feelings of love, peace and happiness in the world.

Oil painting Nang Thanh Binh ( Peaceful Sunlight) by Trinh Thanh Tung received the second prize. Mai Anh Dung won third prize for Hay Giup Do Chung Toi (Please Help Us).

"The paintings made a strong impression on my soul. It looked like the artists painted their pictures with new creativity and passion," said a visitor.

The exhibition runs until August 22 at 97A Pho Duc Chinh, District 1. — VNS

Reprinted from Viet Nam News Agency


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