painter opens new horizons
|Where’s Waldo? Tam
Bac Canal, one of Lemay’s paintings on display at the exhibit.
Rene Lemay loves Viet Nam,
and he’s not afraid to show it.
Happy Days in Viet Nam,
which opened at the Viet Fine Arts Gallery last Friday, is the Canadian’s
first solo exhibit in Viet Nam which promises to put audiences in touch with his
feelings and emotions about Asia through 24 vibrant compositions.
"I want to bring
something new here with my contemporary paintings to share my special feeling
about Viet Nam and also to remember my joyous stay here over the last years.
Your country is unique with its fine art and landscapes, and it can open new
horizons for artists who come from the exterior," he says.
Lemay arrived in Viet Nam
to study lacquer techniques at the Ha Noi Fine Arts College from 1999 to 2002.
Since then, the artist has returned to the capital for inspiration. He again
returned this year, this time with the acrylics on oil he made in 2004-06.
elaborate style and the impromptu variations of his brush stroke, the contrast
of primary colours in the artist’s hand willy-nilly softens to please the eye
with warm feelings," said Vietnamese painter Luong Xuan Doan.
The images at the exhibit
vary greatly and are drawn from everyday life: musicians, horses, roosters and
children that all seem to float in a space very much alive with colour.
"I really enjoyed his
rendition of the Vietnamese woman. He made us all so elegant, with hidden
smiles," said one visitor.
"At 72, his soul is
like the soul of a child: always surprised when looking at the world. He has a
deep attachment to the mysterious world of the Orient. Tam Bac Canal, which is
so familiar to Vietnamese artists, is still very original in Lemay’s
painting," said Doan.
Encouraged by his mother
to paint without formal guidance at an early age, he is an artist who has
consistently followed his own path. Born in Montreal in 1934, he gained
recognition in the Quebec art scene early in his career. Today, his works are on
permanent display in renowned galleries worldwide.
The exhibit will run until
September 18 at Viet Fine Arts Gallery, 96 Hang Trong Street, Ha Noi. — VNS