|A watercolour by Đinh Quang Hải at the Homogeneity exhibition at the HCM City Museum of Fine Arts.|
by Thu Anh
HCM CITY— Eleven artists are showing a collection of more than 100 watercolour paintings at the exhibition Đồng Chất (Homogeneity) at the HCM City Museum of Fine Arts.
The exhibition’s paintings tackle the subject matter of life and people in various ways, but the underlying themes of admiration and romanticism are constant.
The old streets of Hà Nội have been the subject of photographer and artist Đinh Quang Hải for years as he finds them "an unlimited source of inspiration."
For Hải, his art resembles “a child who sees the world with pure eyes."
In this exhibition, busy urban life appears mostly on the corners of streets.
His series of three works called Artwork feature a world full of passion. The colours black, grey and lemon-yellow are used to depict his feelings about time and people.
“I only became involved in watercolour painting in the last two years, after more than 15 years working in photography,” said the 39-year-old artist. “I wanted to challenge myself by learning with watercolour paper, techniques and brushes."
He said that he decided to choose drawing because he wanted “to create my own world.”
“I did not choose painting to begin my career after leaving school. I found youth and energy through art,” said Hải, who graduated in lacquer studies from the Hà Nội University of Industrial Fine Arts.
“In photography, I use living subjects such as people, flowers and landscape to create my art. However, in painting, I can create my own stories within my imagination,” he added.
Hải said the event was named “homogeneity” because all of the artists shared their love for watercolour, which is relatively new in the country’s contemporary fine arts.
For the youngest artist Đoàn Văn Tới of Hải Phòng, he finds vivid colours the best way to show his admiration of life. His works feature scenes of bamboo trees, farmers and boats taking part in rural life.
"I’m finding the rhythm of my harmonious life and nature. In painting, I could touch the similarities between myself and the world," said the 27-year-old.
His paintings, Ancient Village and Secluded Coast, depict cheerful and vibrant scenes with a farmer clothed in pink and blue and a boat on the sea under the silver sunlight.
In contrast to Tới, HCM City-based artist Nguyễn Thái Dương’s still life works, depicting fresh fruit and pots, are sombre and romantic.
And Dương Tôn Quốc Thụy of Hải Phòng displayed his works featuring people in daily life. Both Dương and Thụy use a limited palette of only red and yellow to portray their subjects.
In collaboration, Bùi Duy Khánh, Nguyễn Thành Nhân, Nguyễn Văn Quý and Nguyễn Duy Dũng have recreated markets, old alleys, beaches and women in colourful paintings.
“I learned drawing when I was eight years old and I started to re-study watercolour two years ago. I realised that I wanted to have more freedom in the art,” said Dũng, who spent more than 10 years in architecture before turning to watercolour painting.
The event’s oldest artist Võ Hoàng Nhựt, 47, has organised dozens of solo and group exhibitions in HCM City and China. His works bring messages about love and life.
“I love showing my capability and profound instincts in my art. I know I will arrive when I’m painting,” said Nhựt, who is self-taught in watercolour.
The exhibition runs through November 24 at the Fine Arts Museum, 97A Phó Đức Chính Street, District 1.— VNS