Art exhibition raises money for poor women

October 19, 2018 - 16:00

Teachers Nguyễn Thị Thúy Hường and her friend Trần Vũ Hoàng both have a passion for the arts. In honour of this year’s Vietnamese Women’s Day, the artists will be auctioning off some of their works to help women undergoing hemodialysis.

Bright: Diva by Trần Vũ Hoàng.
Viet Nam News

Teachers Nguyễn Thị Thúy Hường and her friend Trần Vũ Hoàng both have a passion for the arts. In honour of this year’s Vietnamese Women’s Day, the artists will be auctioning off some of their works to help women undergoing hemodialysis. Hà Nguyễn reports.

“Em… particularly women and girls who are unlucky or facing difficulties in life, were the main source of inspiration for our paintings,” said Nguyễn Thị Thúy Hường, who is a teacher at a primary school in Hà Nội.

Hường and her friend Trần Vũ Hoàng, who is deputy head of the Hà Nội College of Art, said although their regular jobs were at school, they were interested in fine arts, respecting beauty and values of human culture.

An exhibition entitled ‘Em…’ displaying more than 60 works by Hường and Hoàng, which is being held in Hà Nội from October 17-21, received a lot of interest from the public, including painters and art researchers.

An auction will be held at the exhibition. All money from the auction of two oil paintings entitled Em…(size 120cm by 90cm) and Ngẫm…(90cm by 90cm) will be donated to disadvantaged women undergoing hemodialysis treatment at Bạch Mai Hospital in Hà Nội on the occasion of Vietnamese Women’s Day, October 20, said Hường.

Trần Khánh Chương, chairman of the Việt Nam Fine Arts Association, said visiting the exhibition, viewers would see clearly about the contrast between oil painting and lacquer painting of these two painters.
“The two teachers-painters have expressed their own impression and inspiration through their works. Their style of painting would effect and help increase creativeness among their students and the young generation as well,” Chương told the opening ceremony in Hà Nội on Wednesday.
He also praised their ideas of auctioning their paintings to donate to female hemodialysis patients, saying its a very good example for other painters to follow.

Hường was born in the midland province of Vĩnh Phúc’s Hương Canh Town, which is home to a famous hundred-year old pottery village. As a child, Hường spent a lot of her time creating toys and items out of clay, like bowls, plates, pots and characters from children’s tales.

“Although I had a passion for fine arts, my mother forced me to study pedagogy. Now my main career is teaching, but I love art so much I try to spend most of my free time painting, because it helps me express my feelings and relax,” Hường said.

Beginning an art career in 2009, Hường said she invested all her confidence in her work. One of her favourite pieces is the oil painting Ba Kể Con Nghe, depicting a businessman, the paternal grandchild of Việt Nam’s late general Võ Nguyên Giáp, telling his first daughter about the historic triumph at the Điện Biên Phủ battle, commanded by her grandfather.

Nature: Ngũ Hành (metal, wood, water, fire and earth) by painter Vũ Hoàng.
Youth: A little girl in the ’Em...’ collection by Thúy Hường.
Elegant: A woman from Huế by Hường.

“The work tells the young generation to always remember the merits of our forefathers and national traditions,” said Hường, adding that she was fond of another oil work named Ngẫm. The work depicts a woman from Huế with a relaxed face, wearing elegant violet long robe and a traditional conical hat. Her hand is resting on a pile of books.

“The message I wish to convey is that women, in any circumstances, who are interested in reading books and accumulating knowledge to improve herself, are the real representation of beauty,” she said. 

Apart from these paintings, Hường has captured the beauty of both Hạ Long Bay, a world heritage site, and a female golfer. “I want to say that women, rich or poor, should choose a suitable sport to practise every day to be healthy and confident in daily life.”

But Hường said her favourite painting was Em…in which a Vietnamese girl wears a violet long robe, holding a traditional hat in her hand. Her hair is loose down her back, revealing her pretty face. She is standing on the threshold, considering how to step down.

“I want to express the message that if a woman meets a gentleman, she should consider marrying him. If she doesn’t meet such a good man, she should turn away and be confident enough to be single without trying to force an attachment with someone unsuitable,” said Hường.

Meanwhile, Hoàng, 58, developed an interest in painting as a teenager and won third prize at an art contest. He began to pursue a career in art in 1979. At his first exhibition in 1980, he sold several of his paintings, including two bought by the National Museum of Arts for display.

He later enrolled at the Hà Nội University of Fine Arts (1983-88) and later worked at the Hà Nội Art College from 1991 until now.

“My painting career really started in 1996. Myself and painter Vũ Thăng opened our own studio at home to paint large abstract landscape lacquer works under the theme of ’Oriental philosophy’, such as a collection of five basic elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth),” Hoàng said.

By 2002, Hoàng was invited by the city of Veigne in France to display 20 of his lacquer paintings. “More than half of my works were sold at this exhibition,” he said.

Years later, he began to paint realistic works on nationality and women.

“Lacquer techniques inspired me so much. For example, beauty only appears during the process of painting with lacquer, and then I add individual elements of colour. The most important part is how to choose materials to improve the painting. The painting process only ends when the painter’s eyes are pleased,” Hoàng said.

He said he was interested in the abstract painting collection (locally known as Kim-Mộc-Thủy-Hỏa-Thổ or Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth).

He has attended many exhibitions in and outside the country including Việt Nam Modern Painting in Beijing, China (2005), Dual Game 2008 in Seoul, South Korea, Bienalle in Venice, Italy (2013), and Việt Nam-South Korea Lacquer Painting (2017). VNS