|Life of art: Painter Thành Chương speaks at his book launch. — Photo courtesy of VCCA|
HÀ NỘI — At the age of 70, Thành Chương, one of the most distinguished painters in Vietnamese fine arts, said he is still as passionate as he was years ago.
A book recently released by the Vincom Centre for Contemporary Arts explored the artist’s life and career.
The book, titled Thành Chương – Art and Life, affirmed the position of Chương as one of the leading lights in Vietnamese contemporary art. He is considered the bridge between Indochinese art and đổi mới (renewal) art.
The 500-page book reveals the creative techniques and devotion of the artist through sketches, lacquer work, oil on canvas and watercolours.
Though Chương started painting at the age of seven and has completed a huge number of artworks, this is his first book.
Chương is a big name in Vietnamese fine arts, according to writer Nguyễn Quang Thiều.
“Chương joined the national fine arts industry with his own opinion and style. He is a pioneer in preserving traditional identity in art creativity. He has had a significant influence on young artists.”
Chương was introduced to art very early in life, as his father is writer Kim Lân. When Chương was young, he met famous writers and artists such as Nguyên Hồng, Nguyễn Tư Nghiêm, Nguyễn Sỹ Ngọc, and Nguyễn Sáng.
He spent 10 years serving in the army before working as an illustrator at Văn Nghệ (Literature and Arts) Newspaper in Hà Nội.
“The world has learned about Vietnamese fine arts thanks to the generation of artists who graduated from the Fine Arts College of Indochina (former name of Việt Nam University of Fine Arts),” Chương said.
“I want to work with other artists to build a new fine arts industry, with a Vietnamese identity and the ability to integrate with international art.”
Compiling the book was not easy for Chương as he has spent most of his life creating. His vast body of work, including paintings, drawings and documents, took a lot of time to arrange on the pages of the book.
Chương said that even at the age of 70, he still looks for the beauty in art.
“There are many things ahead. Art has no limit. My most beautiful piece is yet to be created.”
Painter and art critic Nguyễn Quân remarked that Chương is a bridge between two generations of Vietnamese artists, between Western and Eastern art and between seriousness and fun. — VNS