Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A collection of 83 paintings and sketches by soldier, journalist and painter Colonel Phạm Thanh Tâm is on display at the HCM City Fine Arts Museum.
The “Kháng Chiến và Hội Họa” (Resistance and Painting) exhibition is part of the city’s activities to celebrate the Reunification Day, April 30.
There are 15 paintings with various mediums and materials such as oil on canvas, water colour on silk, and gouache, which Tâm made when he joined the military in 1950.
Thy feature the life of civilians and soldiers during the war, and occasionally landscapes such as Rừng Trắng Hoa Ban (Orchid Tree Forest), Cô Gái Thái Điện Biên (Thai Lady in Điện Biên), and Máy Bay Địch Đã Xa (Enemy’s Aircraft Flew Away).
There are also 68 pen and pencil sketches of actual happenings on battlefields.
Those like Xuân trong hầm pháo Điện Biên (Spring at Gun Bunker in Điện Biên) and Ký Ức Dinh Độc Lập (Memories of Independence Palace) have become invaluable.
“I have received many compliments for my sketches,” Tâm, 85, said.
“The sketches have become valuable documents because they brought to people news about battles.”
Rừng Trắng Hoa Ban (Orchid Tree Forest), a gouache painting by Colonel, journalist and painter Phạm Thanh Tâm. VNS Photo by Phương Mai
Born into a revolutionary family in Hải Phòng City, Tâm joined the military and became an artist to paint propaganda posters.
In 1957 he and artists Phan Kế An, Mai Văn Hiến and Huỳnh Văn Thuận founded the Việt Nam Fine Arts Association.
In 1964 he entered the Hà Nội Fine Arts College (current Việt Nam Fine Arts University), but returned to the battlefield after graduating in 1968.
He worked as a soldier, journalist and painter, drawing sketches on many battlefields like Điện Biên, Khe Sanh and Quảng Trị, which were published in many newspapers.
In 1978 he became director of the Military’s Fine Arts Studio in Hà Nội. He retired in 1989 and moved to HCM City with his family.
Tâm was awarded the Glorious Fighter Medal, Medal for Vietnamese Fine Arts Career, and Medal for Vietnamese Literature and Art Career for his contribution to the arts.
The museum is at 97A Phó Đức Chính Street, District 1. The exhibition goes on until June 30. — VNS