A watercolour sketch by artist Thái Hà. Photos courtesy of Việt Nam Museum of Fine Arts
HÀ NỘI — Around 70 sketches from the HCM Museum of Fine Arts's collection have gone on display in Hà Nội, featuring daily life and the war in the South.
The collection, entitled Ký Họa Kháng Chiến Miền Nam (Sketches from the Resistance War), was drawn between 1954 and 1975. They showcase a wide range of themes and mediums including gouache, watercolour, charcoal and fountain pen.
The sketches are vivid diary pages about the people, the life, the nature and the war in the South, which are clearly portrayed in works such as Spring in the Artillery Bunker and Night Resting in the Village by artist Thái Hà; Bình Gia Battle 1965 by Huỳnh Phương Đông; On the Way to the South and Ms Quyên by Lê Lam.
"The sketches were made at the battle by the soldier artists," said Nguyễn Anh Minh, director of Việt Nam Museum of Fine Arts.
"The artists and the character in the sketches include martyrs Huỳnh Quốc Trọng; Võ Thị Tuyết; Phan Văn Sáu and Võ Văn Bé. who devoted and sacrificed their lives to the national independence, freedom and unification.
A fountain pen and watercolour sketch by Nguyễn Tấn Lực.
"The exhibition offers a chance for Vietnamese people to honour and express their gratitude for the forefathers who fought and sacrificed for national liberation, and to educate the younger generation about national patriotism and pride."
The artists used painting as an effective weapon to portray the war-life of the people in the south. Instead of depicting the cruelty of the war as in other war-themed sketches, those about the resistance war in the south of Việt Nam were remarkably different in their simple and human topics.
Thousands of sketches created from this period have not only become historical evidence but also expressed the quest for peace and the national heroism of the Vietnamese people, according to artist Trần Thanh Bình, director of HCM Museum of Fine Arts.
"The sketches in this exhibition are also valuable documentary sources, making contributions to the development of the revolutionary fine arts as well as Vietnamese fine art," Bình said.
"It is also an opportunity for us to pay tribute to the war artist generation who dedicated themselves to the national defence through their artworks."
The exhibition runs until May 8 at Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum, 66 Nguyễn Thái Học Street. It is held on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Reunification Day. — VNS
A watercolour sketch by Lê Văn Chương.