Vietnamese Art - Taking the World On Its Stride

By Suzanne Macguire

The art scene of Vietnam has taken a few giant leaps in recent years. The Doi Moi has constantly been a source of inspiration for the new generation of artists. Besides, the country has also done well in establishing a communication with the outside world thus allowing the artists to present their artworks to the world. Creation of newer opportunities has strengthened the confidence of the young artists who are constantly striving to introduce innovations in their art works. For long, Vietnam artists have drawn in from the traditions of China, France and Russia. There are instances of oil paintings on themes of village and women folk. A love for the city of Hanoi is particularly reflected in a number of these paintings; the image of the deceased painter, Bui Xuan Phai, serving as inspiration to the new breed of Vietnam artists.

Portrayal of emotions has been institutional in drawing the attention of art lovers, especially from the West. The modern Vietnam artists, Hong Viet Dung in particular, has done a great job by moving away from simple subjects to depicting human emotions. These emotions convey a wide range of feelings with an affinity towards loneliness, despair, sorrow, or other woeful experiences of life. On the other hand, artists such as Dao Hai Phong, Le Thanh Son and Pham Luan are drawn towards what might be called the 'romantic style'. Use of highly attractive colors in these paintings makes them appealing, especially to the foreigners who reside in the gray, urban monotonous environment. Portrayal of abstractions has been done excellently by Nguyen Trung, thus testifying to the spirit of Vietnam artists to take up fresh challenges. However, there is one area, which has not yet been chiefly touched by the modern artists. This is the area of socio-political criticism, which has been widely used by Western artists as their art themes.

Speaking of the more innovative art techniques, the Vietnamese lacquer paintings deserve a special mention. Lacquer paintings have turned out to be a great favorite with the art lovers.

Painters like Dinh Quan, Trinh Tuan and Cong Kim Hoa have contributed immensely to the lacquer tradition. The synthesis of traditional lacquer painting and modern painting is now being widely acclaimed. Production of lacquer paintings is time consuming but the result always turns out to be an exquisite masterpiece.

The art scenario of Vietnam has witnessed a sea change over the years. The Vietnamese art market has been successful in drawing art connoisseurs from all over the world on account of its excellent quality and innovation. Being a dynamic art scene in comparison to other countries, Vietnam has produced some of the greatest masterpieces of modern art. The future of Vietnamese art certainly seems bright. Hopefully, Vietnam artists will live up to the high standards set for themselves and let the world recognize the true worth of Vietnamese contemporary art.

Suzanne Macguire is an Internet marketing professional with expertise in content development and technical writing in a variety of industries. Vietnam Paintings

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