Viet Nam News
By Minh Thu
When young Romanian artist Sergiu Moise, 30, tells people he is half Vietnamese and half Romanian, most people believe him, because he speaks Vietnamese like a local, lacking a foreign accent.
He has lived in Việt Nam for seven years and has a strong attachment to the country that he lives and works in.
He came here to learn fine art at the beginning, but then he chose to learn the language, culture and everything about Vietnamese people.
After graduating from fine arts high school in Bucharest, Romania, he received a scholarship and came to Hà Nội in 2008.
He studied at the Việt Nam University of Fine Arts for five years, before studying at the University of Technology and graduating in 2015.
“I did go back to Romania after I graduated but I came back to Hà Nội to continue living for the simple reason that things made more sense here rather than back there,” he says.
“It wasn’t easy at first as everything here is so different to what I was used to, from lifestyle, language, food to more complex things as how people interact with each other,” says Moise.
Love for Vietnamese fine art
Moise says he really appreciated traditional lacquer and silk painting. They are Vietnamese techniques with an interesting process and result, he says.
“Lacquer painting is a very demanding technique. It takes a long time to complete a work.”
He says it’s not just the time you spend painting but also the time you have to spend waiting for the work to dry.
“The first step is mixing the pigments with the lacquer resin and applying the paint on the wooden board. Because the resin has a dark colour it makes the painting’s colours dark too so I have to add silver or gold leaves to brighten them up.”
“After putting on the first layer of paint you have to allow it to dry (this may take from a few days to even weeks). Once the paint is dry we can move on to the next step and that is polishing it with sandpaper and water.”
Moise says he will continue painting and repeating the process until he feels satisfied with it. For him, all these steps are enjoyable.
“However there is one big disadvantage. Many people get allergies from the lacquer resin that cause skin rashes and swollen eyes and face.”
Moise says silk painting has a very smooth process that girls especially find appealing.
“All you have to do is apply watercolours on the silk in layers until we get the right intensity and the results that we want,” he says.
Early this month, Moise opened his first solo exhibition at the Việt Nam University of Fine Arts. It was a meaningful event for him because the place was the first reason for him to come to Việt Nam, the first place where he learned about local fine art.
Representatives of the Romanian Embassy, teachers as well as local artists attended the exhibition, encouraging the young painter.
He named the exhibition Focus as it is the result of many times he tried to focus on working.
Attention deficit disorder is Moise’s biggest demon. He gets distracted easily and it’s very difficult to focus on something for a long period of time.
"So I have to put a lot of effort in order to complete certain tasks," he says.
"For example while I am painting I get distracted by something else or different thoughts and I can’t continue painting anymore so I have to stop or continue painting regardless of my lack of interest in doing it. This leads to a low frustration tolerance and impulsiveness manifested in my daily life."
Moise’s favourite subjects are portraits, city life and landscapes. However, he is not a landscape or a daily scenes artist. His art deals with a more psychological aspect. He uses the human figure to express idea and feelings.
"I used to roam the streets of Hà Nội carrying my sketchbook and drawing different views or people doing different activities. It’s a quite relaxing activity."
Compared to 10 years ago when Moise first arrived, he highlighted the fast change in the city’s appearance, becoming more modern and with an increasing population. As for the people, he has seen a tendency in young generations for a more Westernised and less traditional lifestyle. — VNS