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A Sampler Of Vietnamese Art

Text by Author/Art Consultant Raquelle Azran

Dinh Hanh, Woman's Breast


Dinh Hanh, Harmony

Dinh Hanh juxtaposes the ancient technique of multi-layered lacquer on wood with uniquely modern representations of the female form. using the most delicate of line and contour, Hanh beguiles us with glowing images that are both universal and timeless.

Trinh Tuan, Cloudy Thoughts


Trinh Tuan, Lingering Summer

Trinh Tuan utilizes the luminous gold tones of traditional Vietnamese lacquer work to weave a world of love and beauty. Shimmering shades and hues dissolve and recompose into human figures with ageless features and outsized hands, proffered in friendship or celebrating with lotus blossoms. his paintings, seemingly naive, comfort and reassure us of the salience and universality of emotions in the whirlwind of modern life.

Dinh Thi Tham Poong, Spinning Tales


Dinh Thi Tham Poong, Women Of Nature

Dinh Thi Tham Poong, a young Vietnamese woman of Thai and H'mong hill tribe descent, vividly captures on rice paper her concerns and emotions about the contemporary world. Women and nature intermingle and merge in scenes simultaneously actual and surreal. Tantalized by Poong's underlying messages and captured by the uniqueness of her art, viewers are inevitably drawn into a rich cosmos of metaphysical imagery.

Nguyen Quang Minh, White Fandancers


Nguyen Quang Minh, Water Buffalo

Nguyen Quang Minh's paintings embody the essence of Vietnamese grace. the serenity of minimalism, the elusive figurativeness, the generosity of quiet space - all these are captured in the small yet powerful moments of Minh's works. Minh sends a clear message in his deceptively simple medium: our lives, all lives, are the sum total of everyday brushstrokes on canvases.

Vu Thu Hien, Murmurs Of Matisse


Vu Thu Hien, Rice Harvest

Vu Thu Hien, a young woman artist, paints mysteries using watercolor on traditional Vietnamese rice paper. Ethnic figures both fairytale and real, shimmering and equivocal, combine with tropical foliage and exotic interiors to weave timeless melodies in celebration and empathy of human passions.

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A first encounter with Vietnamese art evokes surprise and delight. Familiar mediums - oil, gouache and watercolor – join with distinctly Asian motifs and spatial concepts. This unique blend of Eastern and Western sensitivities began in 1925 with the founding of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Hanoi by the French artist Victor Tardieu (a friend of Matisse) and has continued to inspire the Vietnamese aesthetic tradition.

Stylistic elements of Impressionism, Expressionism, figurative art, Cubism and Fauvism intermingle with purely traditional Vietnamese themes of emotional experience and spiritual values as represented by the village, the buffalo, ancient dances. The juxtaposition of handmade rice paper and traditional lacquer painting with contemporary artistic techniques bridges the temporal worlds of past, present and future and spans the cultural divide of East and West.

Vietnamese art is defined by its brimming vitality, lush colors and directness, as well as by its poetic, dreamlike meditatation. Depending upon the personal message of the artist, the spectator is invited to share in nostalgic memories of the past or to enter a fantasy world of stylized imagery. Never confrontational or aggressive, Vietnamese art is a lyrical, serene and intriguing moment of beauty in time.

Raquelle Azran is a native New Yorker who divides her time between Hanoi, where she specializes in Vietnamese contemporary fine art and Tel Aviv Israel, where she writes in her inner- city aerie overlooking the Mediterranean.

Visit Azran's online gallery of Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Art for further information about the artists and their work displayed in VerbSap.

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