Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Khoảng Lắng Vuông (The Square Moment of Silence), an art exhibit commemorating late Vietnamese painter and photographer Nguyễn Lai opened at the HCM City Fine Arts Museum Wednesday.
The exhibition features over 100 oil canvas paintings by the artist and the Mặt Nạ (Mask) collection, including 50 of his photos.
Lai (1948-2016) developed a passion for art starting in childhood. However, due to family affairs, he had to put aside his dream to pursue photography and achieved many successes. His main subject was South Việt Nam’s citizens, whom he showcased in many domestic and foreign exhibitions.
After 5 years in the US, he returned to Việt Nam in 2001, opened an art studio and started to paint again. He also hosted a series of photography exhibtions with the HCM City Photography Association.
“The artist uses the mask, background, and light in the arts of photography as a tool to denote his mindset and philosophy about life. In this exhibition, we chose 8 photos from the collection to present Lai’s art to the public,” said a representative of the organising board.
Lai’s two private exhibitions, entitled Dòng Chảy Trừu Tượng (The Abstract Flow, 2010) and Trừu Tượng Và Trừu Tượng (Abstract and Abstract, 2015) were held in the capital city of Lâm Đồng Province, Đà Lạt City. He spent his last years in Đà Lạt and passed away there in 2016.
For most of his life, Lai was loyal to abstract art. He chose squares as the subject of his canvas artworks, naming them “square abstract”. His art combined fantasy and reality, influenced by the atmosphere of meditation and Buddhism, which he studied for years. He once said, “Do not see abstraction as a far-reaching and hard-to-understand. Let it make you peaceful and content with yourself, like the spirit of Buddhism.”
The exhibition will run until April 16. – VNS