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Vietnamese-French artist shares love for lacquer

Update: January, 13/2012 - 10:19

 

Doors: Michelle Pontie's lacquer-on-wood, Red Patchwork.
HCM CITY — Artist Michelle Pontie is using her latest exhibition at Tu Do Gallery in HCM City to encourage people to discover a love for lacquer art, a famous ancient trade of Viet Nam.

"To me, reaching back to Oriental thought, as closely as possible, is an imperious necessity," says the 57-year-old painter.

In her showcase of 21 lacquer paintings called Melody at the End of Autumn, Pontie says she wants viewers to think of freedom, the body and spirit, and matter and energy.

"I believe in the coexistence of opposites, the am (yin) and duong (yang) philosophy. Creating, with the dynamics of unconscious processes it includes, drives me on a pathway from matter to infinity."

"My direct experiences and deep personal resources also drive me to question the body-spirit relationship, an inseparable and eternal duality."

Pontie who has spent nearly 15 years making lacquer art, has put all of her creative feelings into this show.

Her works are like colourful dreams that remind people how to live and think.

Pontie paints with bright and striking colours, including red and reddish-brown, and peach orange, the colours often found in lacquer, to express her feelings.

In End of Autumn, some images of the natural world cover the surface of the lacquer on wood.

"Michelle [Pontie]'s works connect the two cultures, the Orient and the West together," said art critic Paul Vires, who saw the artist's exhibition in Toulouse.

Born in Sai Gon and raised in the south of France, Pontie's mother is Vietnamese and her father French.

She has been involved in lacquer and has travelled between HCM City and Toulouse for more than 20 years.

Pontie has organised 15 solo and group exhibitions in Viet Nam, France and Canada.

Her exhibition is on until January 20 at 53 Ho Tung Mau Street, District 1.

It is open between 9am and 6pm. Paintings are on sale from US$1,400 to $2,200 — VNS

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