Painter Lê Thiết Cương introduces his artworks on white gems. VNS Photo Gia Long
HÀ NỘI – An exhibition featuring artworks inspired by rats has opened in Hà Nội to celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Rat, gathering artists from the G39 group.
For nearly 10 years, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, the G39 artists showcase paintings and sculptures inspired by the zodiac animal of that year.
“Prominent painters of Vietnamese fine arts often create works inspired by the zodiac animals to welcome the new year since old days, such as Nguyễn Tư Nghiêm, Bùi Xuân Phái and Nguyễn Sáng. We just want to follow that fine tradition,” said Lê Thiết Cương, co-founder of the G39 group.
“The artworks reflect characteristics of the zodiac animal, making them human and soulful by putting them in different contexts. For example, Đỗ Dũng paints a couple of rats in colourful costumes as festival goers, while Nguyễn Hồng Quang made a statue of a computer mouse with material and patterns of Hương Canh Commune’s traditional pottery (the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc).”
Rat, a painting by Tào Linh.
With the title Farewell to the Pig, Welcome the Rat
, the exhibition introduces artworks by 20 artists including Bình Nhi, Phan Minh Châu, Nguyễn Hồng Phương, Nguyễn Minh, Nguyễn Hồng Quang, Tào Linh, Việt Anh, Lê Thiết Cương and Đỗ Dũng.
A couple of rats in colourful costumes as festival goers by Đỗ Dũng.
With the same inspiration, they showcase artworks on canvas, dó (poohnah) paper, Bát Tràng ceramics and Hương Canh pottery.
A highlight of the exhibition is the artwork Two Rats Salute Plum Blossom, created by painter Cương and artisans of the Ngọc Decor brand.
“Inspired by the symbol Two Dragons Salute the Sun which is very popular in traditional fine arts and architecture, I created the artwork to welcome the Year of the Rat,” said Cương.
“The gold-inlaid rats are enclosed on a round coin made from white gems, containing a wish of prosperity and good fortune,” he said.
“It requires much care to work on precious natural materials. I sketch the work on a computer, cut the cardboard and make experimental works on stone. It took six months to complete the work.”
The exhibition will run until January 30 at Bar +84, 23 Ngô Văn Sở Street, Hà Nội. VNS