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HCM City's first private art gallery closes

Update: December, 31/2015 - 08:52
HCM City's first private gallery since the war in 1975, Tu Do, closes today after nearly 30 years. — Photo htv.com.vn
HCMCITY (VNS) — HCM City's first private gallery since the war in 1975, Tu Do, closes today after nearly 30 years.

Artist Tran Thi Thu Ha, one of the country's few women gallery owners, and her husband-collector Dang Hai Son, opened Tu Do on Dong Khoi Street in 1989.

In 2000 it moved to Ho Tung Mau Street, District 1, and became more professional.

Their last exhibition, Hon Que va Bien (The Spirit of Countryside and Sea) held in September, featured paintings by Tran Manh Duc.

The gallery has organised nearly 200 exhibitions, including 17 in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, Belgium, and the US.

It showcased various contemporary arts and artists, and collaborated with many public and private museums and collectors at home and abroad.

Over its 30 years the gallery introduced to the public more than 5,000 works.

Announcing the closing, Ha and Son wrote: "We're very sad to say goodbye to our partners, including museums, galleries, collectors, artists and journalists at home and abroad, who supported us for nearly three decades."

The couple will move to live with their children in the US, where they opened the Tudo Art Inc in a San Francisco-based online gallery in 2007.

"We owned a gallery because we wanted to build and develop a quality place for Vietnamese artists and art lovers. We also wanted to impart our love for painting to local people, particularly young people," the 64-year Ha, who has devoted her life to the gallery, said.

She has herself painted more than 400 works using various materials, and sold 300.

Tu Do has 1,500 paintings done in a range of mediums by Vietnamese artists.

Just before closing it sold one of its most renowned pieces, one it had kept for years, Tran Bach Dang (Battle at Bach Dang River) by the late famous painter Nguyen Gia Tri, a 220m by 75cm lacquer on wood, to a woman private collector.

"Tu Do Gallery brought artists and art lovers together," photographer Pham Hoai Nam, a regular visitor to the gallery, said.

Ha said the US-based www.tudogallery.com and www.tudoart.com would introduce Viet Nam's arts to the world.

"Our love for painting will never stop." — VNS

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