Vietnam Art Books -- Sanh marks history with portraiture (May 24, 2005)

Sanh marks history with portraiture (May 24, 2005)

Sculptor To Sanh and his works.
Portraits by painter and sculptor To Sanh of Vietnamese and international historic and literary figures are on display in an exhibition entitled Nhan Tai Va Thien Tai (talent and Genius) at the Ho Chi Minh City Exhibition House.

The retrospective show features 140 works by veteran artist Sanh who was born in the southern province of Ca Mau in 1928.

“I selected nearly half of the works I’ve created over the past decades for the exhibition, which may be the last in my life,” Sanh said.

Sculptures of well-known personalities like Karl Marx, V. Lenin, President Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara, General Vo Nguyen Giap, historian and scholar Dao Duy Anh, painter Nguyen Gia Tri, and poets To Huu and Huy Can are among a total of 90 sculptures Sanh has executed in wood, rock, bronze, plaster and mixed media.

The statue of the late Communist Party General Secretary Le Duan, at 2.2 m high, is one of the largest sculptures in the exhibition.

Sanh said he wanted to make busts of many Vietnamese scientists and artists, including Professor Ton That Tung and People’s Artist Lam Toi. “Instead, I painted their portraits because they were busy and didn’t have the time to sit for me,” the sculptor said.

His later busts include those of female footballers Kim Hong, Kim Chi, winner of the gold medal at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2000, and Ngoc Mai, gold medallist at the 2002 SEA Games.

Viewers of the exhibition are impressed by the multifaceted bust of Meritorious Artist Bach Tuyet which shows the actress expressing three different emotions.

“My aim in creating the portraits and sculptures was to encourage the younger generation to follow the good examples set by these personalities, both in study and work,” he said.

Sanh became a member of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association in 1967 and has held a number of exhibitions nationwide.

He said he is currently making busts of some successful Vietnamese businesspeople.

His show at the Exhibition House, at 92 Le Thanh Ton Street in district 1, will run through May 28.

Reprinted with permission from Nhan Dan Newspaper


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