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Oil paintings capture floral delights of Tet holiday

Update: January, 21/2014 - 08:56
Festive flowers: Dao Nu (Peach Buds) is one of the paintings on show at the on-going exhibition.

HA NOI (VNS)— As peach blossoms, a symbol of Tet, fade away, painter Nguyen Huu Khoa keeps the beautiful flowers alive forever through his art.

After two years of work, the artist completed 32 oil paintings that capture the colours and shapes of the peach blossoms. The resulting solo exhibition Dao Xuan (Spring Peach Blossoms) opened yesterday in Ha Noi.

Khoa grew up in Phu Thuong Village in the capital city, where he still lives. The village is famous for peach blossom cultivation, but at first, he had no aesthetic interest in them because he had to work hard as a child to care for his family's trees. However, as he started painting, the beauty of peach blossoms grew on him.

No other painter has concentrated on the flower, so Khoa can boast that he understands the symbol of the Lunar New Year and the spring better than anyone.

"The Phu Thuong peach is known far and wide due to its thick, deep pink flowers with double petals and dense buds," said the painter.

Khoa depicts the peach flowers grown in the village from different angles. Some paintings feature the pink and light red flowers in close-up, while others illustrate the whole branch and rough, old tree roots. Doi Hoa (Flower's Life Circle) tells the whole story of a peach tree: a small branch featuring a tender shoot, a pink flower in full blossom, two flowers with dark brown stamens, two buds and a baby peach.

Picture perfect: Through the oil-on-canvas paintings, Khoa attempts to capture the colours and shapes of the peach blossoms.

Like other flower villages in Ha Noi, the village has been affected by urbanisation and the construction of new villas and urban areas.

"It's sad to see the number of flower-growing households dwindle significantly. The future is not good at all as Phu Thuong and nearby Nhat Tan village will no longer have any plots of arable land," said Khoa.

After years of creating sculptures, Khoa started playing with oil in 2008. He painted various types of flowers before turning to peach blossoms.

"The strong point of the technique is that it produces striking colours," said Khoa. "I made the flowers as bright as possible. With oil, I'm completely a layman."

The show will be open until Friday at the Exhibition Hall, 29 Hang Bai Street, Ha Noi. —VNS


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