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Curved paintings capture the imagination in Paris

Update: February, 28/2012 - 09:58


Bent: One of Nguyen Van Tam's curved paintings of the new Galbisme art movement on display at the exhibition in Paris. — File Photo
PARIS — Fifteen years ago, Vietnamese-born architect Nguyen Van Tam created a new pictorial movement he called "Galbisme" with a curved canvas on a curved frame. The movement gathers paintings that make the spectators envy flying high in the air.

His 40 paintings of this new movement are on display at an exhibition at the Paris-based Vietnamese cultural centre.

"This is the first time such an original exhibition has been held at the centre," says Le Hong Chuong, the centre's director.

Both Vietnamese and French people have viewed for the first time this new art form that creates hovering lines of landscapes. At the show, the 80-year-old artist is displaying paintings inspired by world famous proverbs from Viet Nam, France, Japan, Turkey and Brazil, among others. Familiar images of the Vietnamese countryside including lotus ponds, frogs and women working on rice fields are all featured in his works.

"The painting's lines are as supple and curved as a woman's shape," says the Vietnamese ambassador to France, Duong Van Quang.

"When the public contemplate the paintings, it's interesting that they can imagine something different, it's up to the imagination of each person," says Quang, referring to the technique trompe l'oeil.

The works on display have impressed many visitors.

"I am very interested in contemplating the paintings of this original art movement. I love Vietnamese culture and art and often go to the cultural centre. The exhibition surprises me because of the talented creative mind of a Vietnamese person," says a French visitor.

Born in 1946, Tam studied fine art in Paris. He then worked in different fields such as fashion, journalism, design, advertising and architecture, but painting remains his great passion while he mainly works as an architect. The idea of creating curved paintings came to him by chance.

"One day, I wanted to create something original and make lively paintings with colours, movements which look like reality. Then I thought of the technique of curving the canvas and the frame with my different ideas: to the left, to the right, up and down. The public will have different impressions and perceptions of the paintings if they see them from different angles," says Tam.

Tam's paintings along with Vietnamese proverbs and information about the "Galbisme" movement are outlined in a book that is on display to the public at the show.

Tam hopes that "Galbisme" will be taught in art schools across France over the next 20 years and gain international acclaim in the art world. The exhibition will end on March 14. — VNS

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