Vietnamese painter portrays women’s inner beauty

July 08, 2021 - 19:04

Women's aspirations for life and their emotions are the inspiration behind Vietnamese painter Nguyễn Hiển’s art, which will be displayed in Hà Nội from today.


An art piece by painter Nguyễn Hiển is exhibited at the Invisible & Visible exhibition. — Photo courtesy of the artist

HÀ NỘI — Women's aspirations for life and their emotions are the inspiration behind Vietnamese painter Nguyễn Hiển’s art, which will be displayed in Hà Nội from today.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the inauguration ceremony of the exhibition, entitled Vô Hình & Hữu Hình (Invisible & Visible), will not be held but the event will open to limited visitors to avoid gatherings.

Invisible & Visible is a joint exhibition between Hiển and another colleague, but the painter considers it as his solo exhibition as their paintings are displayed in two different spaces. He himself has nearly 30 paintings exhibited this time, all of which were painted from 2018 till 2021.

“This is the period when I develop a new style of painting and I really like it," Hiển said. It fits who I am and my personality. I paint women with a suppressed mood, wanting to explode to get out of that deadlock.” 

Artist Nguyễn Hiển is pictured next to one of his paintings.  Photo

Viewers might find women portrayed in his works unattractive, and even “ugly”, however, the painter argued: “What is ugly? Do mothers become ugly when they get old? It is definitely that the image of a mother is always beautiful, even when they are old, hump-backed and have wrinkled skin. We always find mothers beautiful because we understand the good within them.

“To the women in my paintings, I paint the beauty that I find in them. I reckon that beauty is more than just appearances. Instead, beauty is found in the interior, patience, endurance and sacrifice. In addition, women also have the beauty of intense desires for love and silent emotions.

“I might love women in my own way. To me, Vietnamese women are very admirable. I have been obsessed with the little women driving their children on motorbikes in the middle of heavy traffic, which looks extremely dangerous. What is the joy of those women? What do they yearn for? I pondered and painted about their silent desires. How can the naked women in my paintings be attractive when deep inside them is always unresolved anxiety,” the painter said.

Invisible & Visible was originally scheduled to take place in May but postponed until July due to the fourth outbreak of the pandemic. However, during the time waiting for his solo exhibition to officially take off, Hiển has finished many paintings all of which are named Chờ Đợi (Waiting) and numbered like Waiting 1 or Waiting 2.

The exhibition at 29 Hàng Bài Exhibition Hall will open until July 13.

Born in 1974 in Hải Phòng City, Hiển graduated from the University of Industrial Fine Arts in 2001 and later became a member of the Viêt Nam Fine Arts Association.

The painter who is now based in HCM City has had his artworks exhibited in many prestigious events such as the National Fine Arts Exhibition in 2010, the exhibition of the Viêt Nam Fine Arts Museum in 2012, and group exhibitions held in the UK and Malaysia in 2015 and 2016, respectively. VNS