Painter invites visitors to his secluded garden

October 27, 2022 - 18:47
Painter Vũ Văn Tịch has introduced to the public 18 lacquer paintings depicting his childhood’s tranquil colourful garden with plenty of flowers in his first solo exhibition, Trong Vườn (Inside the Garden).
Painter Vũ Văn Tịch (first right) and curator Vân Vi are pictured at his first solo exhibition, Trong Vườn (Inside the Garden). Photo

HÀ NỘI Painter Vũ Văn Tịch has introduced to the public 18 lacquer paintings depicting his tranquil and colourful garden with plenty of flowers in his first solo exhibition, Trong Vườn (Inside the Garden).

Held at Muse Art Space, 47 Tràng Tiền Street, Hà Nội, Inside the Garden is the result of Tịch’s 10 years of researching, exploring and experimenting on lacquer.

The painter, 33, graduated from Việt Nam Fine Arts University. Tịch often concerned himself with the creative directions of lacquer painting. He began by spending 10 years working on simple topics that stem from personal perspectives. The level of sophistication of Inside the Garden paintings is the direct result of Tịch’s efforts in the early days.

This lacquer painting series started in early 2019. Tịch once said that three years is the minimum period that he needs to prepare due to the intricacies required in lacquer techniques. Perfecting this artistic medium can be challenging, even with years of experience. The exhibition is made possible thanks to the perseverance driven by the passion and discipline of the artist.

By using fine silver powder, painting through multi-layer, combining three shades of red extracted from Cinabrio minerals, fusing artistic quirks such as inverting contrasting spaces, and employing symbolic language, the artist has constructed a vibrant and vivacious garden.

As a result, despite exploiting a familiar topic of plants and flowers, Tịch demonstrated his steady lacquer technique and personal research. Each of his paintings adopts a different technique.

Learning from his teacher, painter Triệu Khắc Tiến, Tịch has applied various Japanese techniques. However, he believes that all lacquer creativity needs to originate from Vietnamese traditional lacquer – natural sap extracted from lacquer trees (Toxicodendrom vernicifluum).

“On the path I have chosen, I want to contribute to the development of Vietnamese lacquer paintings, using traditional techniques to create the highest visual effect for viewers," he said.

Xuân Về (Spring is Here) by painter Vũ Văn Tịch.

Despite the fact that many works in Inside the Garden exploit popular topics, Tịch is able to overcome the shadow of many other established painters. The reason is simple: he paints naturally with his personal feelings in front of nature. Moreover, "everything in this world has been drawn a lot but not everyone could succeed in finding their own path. My style is not expressed in being different but in the study of using materials," Tịch said.

According to curator Vân Vi, besides the theme of nature, the lacquer collection also includes a number of paintings with different styles such as expressionism, impressionism, portraits and those created from the contrast between light and dark areas.

Giấc Mơ Trưa (Noon Dream) by painter Vũ Văn Tịch.

The exhibited artworks share a coherent composition rhythm. Two paintings, Trong Vườn (Inside the Garden) and Xuân Về (Spring is Here), are scaled up to 1.6 metres, depicting the romantic floral scenery of the Northwest region in Việt Nam.

Other paintings, such as Xương Rồng Tím (Purple Cactus), Ngày Gió (Windy Day), or Đêm (Night), focus on the elegant beauty and the different states and characteristics of plants in the garden.

Having a cold, gloomy background, the painting Chiều Buông (Late Afternoon) highlights the red-orange hues of the flower bushes. The foliage lurks behind a mysterious night. The painting shines a light on the distant memories that are hidden deep within.

Meanwhile, Mai Vàng (Golden Ochna) directly took inspiration from the artist’s personal experience. He applied thin layers of multi-tone purple on the surface, and powdered them with reflective silver/gold leaves, producing a clear and vast setting.

Inside the Garden will run until November 15. VNS