Hà Nội honours ancient art form

October, 25/2017 - 09:00

Artists from 45 countries and territories gathered at an International Watercolor Biennale which started on Monday.

Opera House: An artwork by Australian artist Alvaro Castagnet displayed at the exhibition.
Viet Nam News

By Minh Thu

HÀ NỘI — Watercolours created by 216 international artists on display at Hà Nội Museum.

They were painted by artists from 45 countries and territories gathered at the International Watercolour Biennale which started on Monday.

The exhibition showcases works from Japan, Britain, South Korea, India, Spain, Finland, Uruguay, and China alongside those from Vietnamese artists including Nguyễn Mai, Đoàn Văn Tới and Bùi Duy Khánh.

Organised by the International Watercolour Society in Việt Nam and Hà Nội Museum, the exhibition aims to give the public an idea of watercolourist’s views of the world and of Việt Nam.

“We expect the public will have a general view on the watercolour painting genre of the world,” said painter Nguyễn Mai, chairwoman of the IWS Việt Nam.

“Through the artworks, visitors will have a chance to understand the culture, lifestyle and nature of many countries as well as various fine-arts styles by international artists.”

Artists are also painting at the venue and talking with the audience. Vietnamese and international artists are also exchanging ideas and sharing projects.

Australian painter Alvaro Castagnet, who has won many international awards, said it was great to see so many people embracing watercolours in Việt Nam.

“Việt Nam fine arts has big potential to develop,” he said. “We expect watercolour paintings will be promoted and our artists will be known throughout the world.”

Mai Ly, a graduate from the Việt Nam University of Industrial Fine Arts, said she felt moved while enjoying the artworks. "It’s like looking at a kaleidoscope," she said.

"Watercolours make images sparkling on paper. Through the paintings, I can hear different stories from over the world. The exhibition is very useful for art lovers."

Old techniques: A visitor enjoys artworks at the exhibition. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
Working live: An artist performs painting directly at the event. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
Modern India: The beauty of Izmir by Amit Kapoor from India.

Art for peace

The International Watercolour Society is a non-profit organisation established in 2012 by Turkish-Canadian artist Atanur Dogan to promote the world’s oldest and most deeply rooted painting technique: the art of watercolour.

“Our goal is to promote peace by the use of art, the common language of all the people of the world,” he said. “Our activities involve bringing watercolor artists and art lovers together.” 

The artists will visit Cát Bà Island in Hải Phòng City today. Together they will create a 40m long painting to set a record of the longest watercolour painting in Việt Nam.

The painting will be about peace, friendship, co-operation and will highlight culture of the country where the artist comes from.

“We want to prove that art can help us come over all barriers of borders, languages, cultures and politics. We will celebrate peace, art, love and harmony.”

Dogan said this was the second time he had visited Việt Nam. The first time was at the first International Watercolour Biennale in 2015.

He has painted artworks in the countryside and local portraits. He has also taken many photos of the country to provide inspiration when he goes home.

“Việt Nam is a strong country with a strong culture that generated strong artists,” said Dogan.

“Vietnamese artists are talented and many of them are young and energetic. However, they are not well known.”

The exhibition will run until November 15 at Hà Nội Museum, 2 Phạm Hùng Street, Hà Nội. Entrance is free.

Liu Yi from China and other artists will paint at the exhibition on October 27. — VNS