Thursday, April 2 2020


Masterpiece of Vietnamese lacquer to be auctioned

Update: April, 28/2018 - 12:00
Fine art: The lacquer painting Thác Bờ (Bờ Waterfall) by Nguyễn Huyến (1915 –94) will be auctioned on April 29 in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The lacquer painting Thác Bờ (Bờ Waterfall) by Nguyễn Huyến (1915 –94), will be auctioned on April 29 in Hà Nội. The starting price is US$120,000.

Huyến produced up to 300 paintings of Bờ Waterfall in the northern province of Hòa Bình, but only a few of them were made on a large canvas (about 1.5m by 2.5m). These paintings were selected as State gifts for President Sukarno of Indonesia, and Cambodian leader Sihanouk.

Experts remarked that this particular painting is one of great value.

“In terms of composition, Huyến uses a wide panorama,” said art critic Trần Quốc Hùng.

“The objects are drawn clearly in the foreground while the background creates an open atmosphere.”

“In terms of colour, the artwork is created with a generally cool smoke colour that is considered unique in comparrison to other Vietnamese artists. This colour also is the reason why when one sees the painting, their feelings are emotional and the atmosphere of the Đà River on a winter morning is well-described.”

Hùng said that the painting contains hidden fine arts symbols, which interesting to discover and contemplate.

“We can see that the eggshell mosaic borders are very smooth because Huyến ground them carefully, and created hidden symbols such as the Mother Goddess and generals riding horses, which you can pick out if you look carefully” said Hùng.

“Huyến’s lacquer technique is very professional, to the point where the gloss on water creates a multidimensional space and an amazing sense of natural light.”

Painted in 1962, the Thác Bờ painting was certificated by Huyến’s son, Nguyễn Gia Lượng. It is one of three works of the painter which were displayed in 1983.

“We can conclude that there is no copy of this painting due to the artist’s inimitable technique,” said Hùng.

Huyến is a talented lacquer artist. During his era, it was not easy to sell paintings, but he is one among few artists who could still organise exhibitions and sell their works. Huyến was a co-founder of the Việt Nam Fine Arts Association.

The painting Thác Bờ and other paintings of Nguyễn Trọng Kiệm, Nguyễn Trọng Hợp, Dương Hướng Minh, Thái Bá Vân and Phạm Lực will be under the hammer at Chọn’s auction house, located at 17 Trần Quốc Toản Street, Hà Nội. — VNS


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