Vietnam Art Books -- Painters return from abroad to share their expanded understanding of art (September 23, 2005)

Painters return from abroad to share their expanded understanding of art (September 23, 2005)

Black and white strokes invoke the feeling of a rough and difficult road, portraits of a young girl contain inner thoughts and dialogue, and a poor child stands next to refuse - in an exhibition that opened on Monday in Hanoi.

Unfolding self: (from left) One of the What I Really Think About self-portraits by Duong Thuy Duong and her other painting entitled Jewelry.

Entitled Mot Con Duong (A Way), the exhibition is made up of more than 30 oil-on-canvas paintings from two young painters, Duong Thuy Duong and Dao Minh Tri.

After returning from Germany, where both are studying painting at the Halle University of Art and Design, the painters are making an impression.

"Many recent exhibitions have been very prosaic and commonplace, but these two are really saying something. Other than the good arrangement, all the paintings urge observers to think," one visitor said.

With realism as his central principle, Tri used only two basic colours, black and white, on his canvases, which share the common title Con Duong (The Way).

"Life isn't just bright and good, but also has rough and difficult times. Knowing how to face and overcome difficulties is a challenge," Tri said, explaining his collection's raw veracity about life.

Like Tri, Duong also considers herself shooting from the realist's hip, but her paintings depict objects more clearly: her face in different angles in Toi Thuc Su Nghi Gi (What I Really Think About), faces of men and women in Toi Da Gap Ho o Dau Do (I Met Them Somewhere), or a child without pants in Me Toi La Nong Dan (My Mother Is A Farmer).

"My works have been influenced by my outlook of life, which I have realised clearly having gone abroad to study. I have pondered the people in my country, especially farmers, who make up 80% of Vietnam population," Duong said.

"Both of us have found many themes in Vietnam for our works, but we've avoided the common themes other painters have exploited. Painters take the responsibility of expressing society's problems with their creations," she said.

The duo agreed that painting requires not only creativity, but also hard work.

"We have worked hard over the past few years, ever since we began studying at the German university. Through the exhibition, we want people to know what we have collected in the university and from our lives, as well as how diligent we have been abroad," Tri said.

In addition to the exhibition, which runs until Sunday at Exhibition House 29 Hang Bai Street, Duong and Tri will present their video art on October 5 at Young Gallery, 28 Dao Duy Tu Street.

Reprinted from VietNamNet


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