Dan Online- The Exhibition of painter Doan
Van Nguyen at 29 Hang Bai, Hanoi shows not only a huge creation but also a
serious passion for the traditional lacquer painting.
With 35 works on show, with
the oldest created in 1986 and the latest in 2007, the largest of 2.4 square
metres and the smallest only of 20 x 30cm size,
the exhibition is a summary of 20 years of working of the artist Doan Van
Nguyen has won various prizes
for his creativity, such as the National Prize for a set of 5 art works,
and various Gold Medals at different national fine
arts exhibitions. Some of his works are now on display at the Prime
Minister’s Office, Fine Arts Museum, Military Museum, and at Museums in
Russia, Germany and Chile.
Art critics say this is a a
rare opportunity for lovers of lacquer painting, as it is very difficult to
collect such a high number of lacquer painting with such high quality on
It takes months, sometimes
years to accomplish a lacquer painting. Lacquer painting requires artists to
paint various layers to get the required impression.
The artist has to polish the painting various times, letting the colour
mature and polish them again. It has taken Nguyen
his whole life to compose several dozens of such paintings.
“This is a huge collection,
showing a huge workload for the artist. It also reflects a serious passion
for this unique art.” Tran Khanh Chuong, General Secretary of the Vietnam
Fine Arts Association commented on the exhibition. “Doan Van Nguyen is not
in anyway similar to his predecessors, or his successors. He has a special
individual style, both modern and traditional.
The exhibition is not only a
collection of his life works, but also reflects
the different artistic period Nguyen has experienced. The works also shows
his creativity and efforts in searching for new
materials to be applied to this traditional art form. Many of his findings,
such as the use of egg shell and gold, have been developed by his students
and successors to leading greater successes.
Professor Doctor Nguyen Do
Bao says Doan Van Nguyen has made a trademark of his own by using strong
strokes. At the same time, his paintings are always fully worked out and
generates in viewers a feeling of praising for life.
Nguyen Quoc Huy, one of his
outstanding student, says what he learnt most from Nguyen is the passion for
the traditional form of art, his patience and love for art. “He is very
careful from sketching, to making the painting. He doesn’t mind going back
and adjust his painting to reach perfection, that’s what many young artists
are ignorant of”, Huy says.
Thanks to his efforts and
excellence, Nguyen has been dubbed “an authentic lacquer painting artist” by
art critics and lovers.
By Hong Minh
Art needs talent and
passion. But not only that. It also relies on the grace of Nature such
as stone and plants and even faith. Bible and churches led the art of
painting in the Renaissance to the brilliant development period. The
Russian poplar forests have shed their leaves on poetry, music and
painting. Sugar palm trees and millions of tonnes of stone did help
build the magnificent and imposing Angkor Temples.
In Vietnam, lacquer trees
in Phu Tho have oozed their lacquer on the country’s contemporary fine
arts with those splendid lacquer art works and remarkable artists.
Lacquer paintings of the
Vietnamese have imbued with Yin and Yang when they are plastered with
lacquer before being polished to their shineness, with the five elements
of metal, wood, water, fire and earth to create the finest art works.
The artists’ creativity is the mixture of their hearts and souls and
their dexterous hands with the material human life.
Each community comes into
being from each soil, grass and plants of their own and the remarkable
art has emerged from these lands of sand and dust and of fertility.
The Vietnamese take great
pride in their Song Hong (the Red River) Civilisation and the talented
artists with their perfectly beautiful lacquer paintings, have
solicitously handed down the art work to their posterious artists.
Doan Van Nguyen and his
disciples have become utterly absorbed in creativity on that lucky road.
Hoang Dinh Tai
(A preface written in honour of Doan Van Nguyen)