Illustration entitled Người Xưa measures just 10cm by 11cm.
HÀ NỘI — Artist Vũ Đình Tuấn is displaying his miniature paintings for the first time at an exhibition which opened in Hà Nội on February 19.
Some of the 150 paintings are miniature, with the largest measuring just 20cm by 30cm, while the smallest is a mere 10cm by 11cm. The exhibition includes illustrations Tuấn made over the years for newspapers and magazines.
"Small and large paintings are different," said Tuấn. "But they are the same in idea and composition. Not all artists make large paintings. It doesn't take much time to paint small paintings."
With illustrations and small paintings, it seems that this is a field where artists feel creative and improvisational.
Tuấn began to illustrate in 2013 when he was introduced by his veteran colleagues such as Thành Chương and Đặng Xuân Hòa.
"The leading newspapers and magazines want to commission established artists," said Tuấn.
"It is great for me to co-ordinate with Văn Nghệ Quân Đội (Military Culture and Arts) magazine and Việt Nam Writers' Association-owned Báo Văn Nghệ (Literature and Arts) Newspaper."
The exhibition includes the first illustration for a short story Hương Thôn Dã (Countryside Scent). It measures 12cm by 19cm.
Người Xưa (Ancient People) is one of the smallest illustrations. Tuấn doesn't remember the name of the story, but it impressed him.
The exhibition displays some of 150 small paintings. — VNS Photos Nguyễn Bình
“I think that an illustration shouldn’t repeat the story but highlight the literary meaning of the work to inspire and encourage people," said the artist.
"I want more people to be interested in small paintings, because many artists draw small paintings, but they are not confident enough to introduce them to the public.
"I hope my small painting exhibition will encourage artists to display their small works and collectors to pay attention to this kind of painting."
Tuấn currently works as a lecturer at the Việt Nam University of Fine Arts' Printmaking Department.
He has awarded Prize NOKIA; Silver Medal at National Fine Arts and Hà Nội Fine Arts Festival.
He held a solo silk painting exhibition in 2012; woodcut prints in 2009 and silk painting in Washington in 2007.
The exhibition runs till March 1 at Hanoi Studio, 13 Tràng Tiền Street. — VNS