HCM CITY — Ha Noi-based painter Nguyen Quoc Dung loves life but his works only show it obliquely.
|Dreamy: Nguyen Quoc Dung's oil painting Thanh Xuan (Youth)
At a new solo exhibition called Giot Xuan (Drops of Spring) at Tu Do Gallery in HCM City, his 20 oils are typical – they use symbols like women and even mundane objects like rocks to depict that love.
He follows European Realism, a style that became popular after being adopted by Vietnamese artists at the Indochina Fine Arts College that opened in Ha Noi in 1926.
After working for years as a designer of postage stamps, he finally found his calling.
"Painting is only road where I can discover myself and the world.
"While I'm obsessed by concepts in western classical art, I'm also influenced by eastern culture," the 53-year-old adds.
The paintings on show at Drops of Spring have vivid colours that reflect his inner feelings.
One of the more engaging pieces is Thanh Xuan (Youth), a 80cmx90cm oil in red, orange, and black that has as its centrepiece two women in the traditional Vietnamese ao dai.
"Dung's painting style has proved to be effective and fruitful," artist Trinh Sinh Nha said following a visit to the exhibition last week.
"And while looking for what he has, Dung still paints with earnestness."
The exhibition will run until March 5 at 53 Ho Tung Mau Street, District 1.
The paintings are priced at VND34 million (US$1,600) apiece. — VNS