Vietnam Art Books -- Outstanding artist returns home to honour folk art (July 13, 2005)

Outstanding artist returns home to honour folk art (July 13, 2005)


Poster of the exhibition.
VietNamNet – Van Duong Thanh, an artist whose works are highly regarded around the world, and are included in numerous international collections, will return Vietnam for a solo exhibition.

The exhibition, in cooperation with the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (VME), will be titled “Journey from Folklore to Abstraction”.

According to Nguyen Van Huy, Director of the VME, who has long-admired the artist, a large part of the artist’s success is because she nurtures the country’s cultural heritage and traditions, and more importantly also adds new values to them.

Learning of the artist’s visit to Hanoi, Mr Huy invited her to hold an exhibition, which she accepted without hesitation.

Van Duong Thanh is one of the most recognised female artists in Asia. After graduating in 1980 from the Hanoi Academy of Fine Arts (former Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine), she continued her studies and worked first at the Institute for Cultural Research, and later in France and Sweden.

Her paintings were first shown at the National Art Museum of Vietnam when she was twenty one and still a student, since then have been exhibited the world over. It is on permanent display in the national museums of Thailand, Singapore and Sweden, and is held in numerous private collections the world over.

Besides other awards, she received the “International Excellence of Art of CFMI” USA-France in both 1995 and 1997.

Ms Thanh employs an academic Western technique leaning towards an expressive, semi-abstract style with bright colours and strong brush strokes. However, she draws her inspiration from the natural beauty and deep-rooted traditional values of her country.

Unmistakably Vietnamese themes are interpreted in an expressionist style using oil, water colour, gouache and traditional techniques of lacquer painting and wood block printing.

The artist spent much of her childhood in rural villages, living and experiencing the everyday life and traditions of the peasantry. Pre-feudal art with its wood carvings of demons, nudes, animals and young people bathing at night on the walls and pillars of village temples made a great impression on her, as did stories and legends of past people and events.

Ms Thanh made these images and stories her own. Her art portrays a timeless world of rural harmony, of women and children, quiet interiors, tranquil landscapes and scenes of traditional village life.

The exhibition “Journey from Folklore to Abstract” at the VME is a tribute to the culture and way-of-life of Vietnamese peasants that is at the core of her art. It will open from 6pm, July 17 at the VME, Nguyen Van Huyen Street, Hanoi.

Reprinted from VietNamNet

     

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