A corner of the 5th exhibition by Sơn Ta Group that kicked off on June 1. — Photo courtesy of Sơn Ta Group
HÀ NỘI — Artworks in various styles by Vietnamese lacquer painters will be showcased to the public at an exhibition that was launched at 29 Hàng Bài Exhibition Hall in Hà Nội on Monday.
The fifth exhibition of Sơn Ta Group, which is dedicated to the traditional Vietnamese lacquer painting, will feature works by 18 painters like Trần Ngọc Anh, Trần Đình Bình and Chu Viết Cường. Despite following different styles, all of them want to preserve traditional lacquer materials and painting techniques.
At the exhibition this year, they have exploited the expressiveness of traditional lacquer while still preserving the glossiness, smoothness and depth-effect of the materials.
Lacquer is thought to be difficult to use to evoke softness, generosity and constant emotion like other materials due to the particular characteristics of the material and techniques; therefore, lacquer painters are limited in their artistic intentions and style.
However, the exhibition has demonstrated their efforts in overcoming this to create new modern visual impressions with the traditional Vietnamese art form.
Another interesting feature of the event is that the painters have used the profound effect of lacquer painting to convey their inner feelings combined with various themes in the works portraying nature or young ladies.
“The fifth group exhibition, 2020 edition, of the Vietnamese Sơn Ta Group is pushing through amid the pandemic. Albeit a luxury, it is an effort that will help us be reminded of what matters most in life – that no matter how fast we go we will never be in control. It matters to be in touch with our humble beginnings and the people around us, to care, to be authentic and not be boastful. In these trying times, we look for meaning, for clarity, for assurance so we can look forward. The humble Sơn Ta will give us a perspective which may help keep us sane as we weather through the harsh time of Corona,” wrote Sơn Ta Group on their Facebook page.
Sơn Ta Group was established in April 2013 by painter Nguyễn Việt Đức. The first project of the group, which gathered 50 lacquer painters, was held with artisans from Hạ Thái and Chuyên Mỹ craft villages. After that, 30 works were selected for the exhibition in Russia in 2014 during the Việt Nam – Russia cultural day. The second exhibition was held in 2015 covering more open topics and diversified styles.
The third exhibition in 2016 of the group was highly appreciated by President of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association Trần Khánh Chương. At their fourth exhibition in October 2018, entitled Lam (Deep Blue), the painters pushed their limits by having their artworks coloured with shades of blue, the most difficult colour in traditional lacquer which is rarely used nowadays.
The event will run until June 8. — VNS