Oil-on canvas painting Bạn (Friend) by Dương Tuấn. — Photos coutersy of artists
HÀ NỘI — Nine artists will display their new paintings at an exhibition entitled Bóng Di Sản (Shadow of Heritage) at 29 Hàng Bài Exhibition House in Hà Nội that opens tomorrow.
The artists include Dương Tuấn, Bùi Văn Tuất, Chu Viết Cường, Minh Đông, Cấn Mạnh Tưởng, Đạt Phú, Tuấn Đạt, Nguyễn Thế Long and Nguyễn Minh.
The exhibition will show some of 50 paintings from a field trip to old Cựu Village in Phú Xuyên District, about 40km south of Hà Nội.
The village is more than 500 years old and used to have a thriving tailoring sector and is filled with French-style houses.
“We went around the village to find old houses, gates and mossy walls which impress us,” said Tuấn.
Cổng Nhà (Gate) by Dương Tuấn.
After the trip, Tuấn drew three oil-on-canvas paintings which he will show at the exhibition. One called Bạn (Friend) features only an old sewing machine, which represents Cựu villagers.
He used a low tone for the painting with grey and brown featuring old and simple equipment to remind people about the traditional job.
“Tailoring helped the villagers become rich and they built the French-style houses which were quite different from typical rural villages of northern Việt Nam. But now it seems nobody lives in these houses,” said Tuấn.
In another painting entitled Cổng Nhà (Gate), he drew a beautiful gate in the village.
“I think the house owner must be rich to build such a beautiful gate. I was moved to see the beauty of the old gate when sunlight shone through it.”
While Tuấn's paintings are a realist style, Minh went for a more distinctive, semi-abstract look with one of his, featuring cubes with strong tones of red, yellow and blue.
One of painting measuring 69cm by 1,96cm by Nguyễn Minh.
“I personally always care about what is different from others,” Minh said. “I do not want to follow a pattern of common things, especially in my work. I set the stage to study and change myself, of course, each stage must be new.”
The exhibition will kick-off a project entitled Đánh Thức Di Sản (Awaken Heritage) carried out by the artists.
“This is our long-term project,” said Minh. “We hope the paintings will bring tangible and intangible heritage closer to the public and promote culture value preservation.”
Tưởng was also impressed by the unique old beauty and cultural value of Cựu Village.
“Quietness is my first feeling when I come to the village,” said Tưởng. “Very few people were walking in the street and it was not noisy and busy like some old villages I have been to.”
A lacquer painting by Cấn Mạnh Tưởng. Photos coutersy of artists
Tưởng will show five lacquer paintings at the exhibition. The exhibition will open tomorrow and run till May 26. — VNS