by Minh Thu
HA NOI — Indian artists were so inspired by Vietnamese landscapes and people that, after only a 10-day visit, they created beautiful artworks in honour of the Viet Nam-India fine arts exhibition held last weekend in Ha Noi.
|Hues of culture: Belief (Muchatlu) by Indian artist Laxman Aelay is one of many colourful works on show at the India-Viet Nam Fine Arts Workshop.
Sudip Roy, one of three participating Indian painters, said: "With the prior knowledge I had of Viet Nam and President Ho Chi Minh, and the hospitality I experienced here, it didn't feel like my first visit to the country. It was more like coming home."
To celebrate the Viet Nam-India Year of Friendship 2012, a joint workshop for eminent artists from the two countries was held in painter Thanh Chuong's Viet Palace in Ha Noi from April 24 to May 3.
For first-time visitors like Roy, Thanh Chuong's Viet Palace was astounding in its size and beauty.
"The environment was also very pleasing, adding to the paintings and sculptures there. We had a good place to create," he said.
Roy said the visit was highly inspiring and the colours in his abstract paintings were taken from elements he observed in Viet Nam.
"Sometimes, I'd take a very strong green from the landscape, which made me feel really young and vibrant. Sometimes, I'd take the blues from your river and sky, which made me drown and fly at the same time. And I also tried to reflect the colours of your national flag in my work, which gave me a strong sense that life is beautiful, but we should work hard to make it even better."
Roy also visited many cultural sites like the Ho Chi Minh Museum and Water Puppet Theatre.
"It really touched me to see the puppet culture in your country and its technical enhancements with your traditional music-the instrument's sound and it's handling was outstanding," he said.
Roy learned the history of Viet Nam through books given to him by his father when he was a child.
"I was given some knowledge about the beauty of Vietnamese culture, which I saw during my visit," he said.
"The lifestyle, hospitality and attire of the people, and their simplicity, was very memorable and made me want to visit Viet Nam once again in the future," he said.
Roy found the trip to be a good opportunity for him to learn about contemporary Viet Nam. "While travelling, the landscapes showed me how important agriculture is to the Vietnamese, similar to Indian people."
Artist Laxman Aelay agreed with Roy that the sight of Vietnamese women working in the fields with their rice hats was familiar to him from India. His painting, entitled Viet Nam with Love, was inspired by the architecture and agriculture of Viet Nam, he said.
A ceremony was held to mark the successful conclusion of the workshop and exhibition of Indian painters Laxman Aelay, Sudip Roy and KR Santhanakrishnan.
Also displayed were works by host Chuong and Vietnamese painters including Doan Thi Thu Huong, Trinh Tuan and Vi Kien Thanh, director general of the culture ministry's Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Department.
"In a very short time Indian painters produced a number of valuable artworks," said painter Chuong.
He said the event was a beautiful exhibition of artwork and friendship between Viet Nam and India.
"Both India and Viet Nam have very lively and extensive art scenes that have acquired admirers both domestically and abroad," said Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae.
"The main objective of the workshop is to promote greater appreciation and understanding of each other's art and to present both traditional and contemporary art that captures the ethos of two ancient, rich and dynamic civilisations," he said. — VNS