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Exhibition of Tứ Lập artists at Fine Arts Museum

Update: July, 06/2017 - 19:00
Bright colours: A painting by Đặng Hữu
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — An oil-on-canvas painting exhibition at the Việt Nam Museum of Fine Arts is the second time the four artists of the Tứ Lập (Gang of Four) group have shown their artworks together.

The artists are Phạm Xuân Trung; Nguyên Minh; Đặng Hữu and Bùi Văn Tuất who graduated from the Việt Nam Academy of Fine Arts and Industrial Fine Arts College. The exhibition, entitled Tứ Lập 2, features nearly 40 paintings created this year.

The paintings are displayed in two rooms, separated by colours. The first room introduces paintings by Hữu and Tuất focusing on landscapes, still life and portrait. Hữu depicts the beauty of the countryside and still life in an abstract expressionist style, whilst Tuất’s portraits are impressionist. 

Tuất’s seven portraits include ethnic children, workers and his colleagues. 

"I love painting ethnic kids," said Tuất, who is from the Mường ethnic group. "When I travel to mountainous and remote areas and meet the children there I see my own childhood. I’m always inspired by them". His paintings are wistful, and the children have a glimmer of sadness in their expressions. 

"I’m also from a mountainous area and I know that life is still hard there. I feel sad for the poor living standards of the children," said Tuất. 

In the exhibition Tuất also introduces portraits of builders, woodworkers and painters who Tuất has painted for the first time. 

The second room highlights the largest painting by artist Trung, which is 150cm by 120cm. Trung’s six paintings depict Hà Nội’s old streets. The largest one depicts Tạ Hiện Street which is very popular to foreigners living in Hà Nội.

"People get so busy with their daily lives they do not have time to see the beauty of old street corners," said Trung. "I want to record the quiet spaces of Hà Nội."

Foreign visitors to the exhibition may not recognise the street without the traffic and activity. The artist painted in the morning, before the busy street had a chance to wake up. He uses warm colours like brown and yellow to highlight the old architecture lining the road. 

Other paintings by Trung show the street markets and slums along the Tô Lịch River and Long Biên Bridge. His favourite scene to paint is Long Biên Bridge because he always manages to find unique perspectives. "Many artists have painted the bridge before but almost all of them focus on the panorama of the whole bridge," Trung said. "I focus on the details in each span and the age of the structure, making the painting unique".

The paintings of old Hà Nội streets contrast with the bright colours by artist Minh. Nine paintings illustrate the beauty of young girls, and Minh said he drew inspiration from his wife and children. The paintings are calming and peaceful.

The four artists founded the Tứ Lập group in 2016 and held their first group exhibition in Hà Nội. The Tứ Lập 2 exhibition will run until July 10 at 66 Nguyễn Thái Học Street. — VNS


Street vendor: A painting by Phạm Xuân Trung

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