Artist and art educator Vũ Đỗ. Photo courtesy of the artist
Hà Nội-based Vũ Đỗ is an artist and art educator. He received a BFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. After graduation, he founded The Painter's Studio in 2015, an art school in Hà Nội.
He has hosted an art tour at Vincom Centre for Contemporary Arts.
Việt Nam News reporter Nguyễn Bình interviews Vũ about art education.
Can you tell us about the response to the art tour at Vincom Centre for Contemporary Art last Saturday?
We started with a group of about fifty people. As the tour continued, the group grew to be over a hundred, many of whom stayed until the end of the tour to ask questions and provide positive feedback, so I think it was a success overall.
How did the audience benefit from the tour?
The tour was to raise public awareness, appreciation and understanding of Gustave Klimt and Egon Schiele’s art, both of whom were considered art visionaries in the early 1900s.
Their works are still influencing artists around the world to this day, as well as artists in Việt Nam.
I gave the audience an introduction on Art Nouveau and Expressionism, so that they would have a better understanding of what art society was like at that time.
I wanted to share my perspective to the audience as a painter.
As an artist and art educator, what do you think about the role of art education?
There is often a gap between the artist and the audience. As an art educator, it is my responsibility to fill in that gap as much as possible by providing insight into the artist’s life, methods, techniques, etc.
A common misunderstanding is that in order to study and appreciate art, you must either be an art historian or an artist.
However, the truth is that art can be studied and appreciated by anybody, no matter what your background, age or occupation is.
In your opinion what is needed to promote art education?
Before I opened The Painter's Studio in 2015, there were not many classes that focused on art appreciation.
My class is designed to cultivate art appreciation in an engaging environment that focuses on art history and the techniques used by artists.
This type of engagement is important to the promotion of art education because it encourages the audience to critically analyse art and feel more involved in art tours.
The art tours I have hosted have increased in demand and attendance. I believe that is largely because of the exposure to art education and appreciation, and that interest will likely continue to grow.
You are the founder of the Painter’s Studio, an art school in Hà Nội. Can you talk about the school?
During my second year in the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), I told my professor, Chris Feiro, that I would open up an art school in Hà Nội and share what I have learned.
A few years later, it became a reality. The Painter’s Studio was founded in 2015. It is worth pointing out that many of my classmates from the college were not even art majors and some of them were even retired seniors. They took the class because they wanted to learn how to understand and appreciate art, as well as the fundamentals.
That is why I believe that art can be accessible to people of all backgrounds, and I want to provide what I have learned to the public.
My style of teaching is heavily influenced by what I have learned from the faculty at CCP.
At The Painter’s Studio we have drawing, painting, printmaking and art appreciation classes for the public.
Anyone with or without any experience can join our classes. We also provide art career consulting and portfolio preparation for students who want to study abroad.
KISS: Visitors at the art tour at VCCA. Photo courtesy of VCCA
You are currently researching various pigments and techniques of northern Vietnamese paintings from the 17–19th century. Can you tell the readers about it?
I have been working on identifying and recreating the pigments and material used in historic artworks from the 17–19th century in northern Việt Nam.
This includes portrait water colour paintings, folk prints, lacquer paintings and sculptures in various Buddhist temples and museums.
I want to rediscover the lost techniques which are very different from the modern art-making methods.
The studies will be able to provide aid in restoring historic artworks as well as encourage the study of traditional arts. VNS