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Silk paintings are from traditional to modern (term 3)
Monday, 29 November, 2010
lua_w_250.jpgThe ancient drawing technique is the symbolic method that things are not described as what are seen. The modern technique is realistic, so artists try to use this technique to describe dimensional spaces, mysterious smoke and mist with different levels of colours but without strong contrast colours on silk.

Therefore, modern silk paintings are very poetic and dreamy. Green and blue are not used in the modern silk paintings very much compared with the ancient ones. Young artists find that it is very difficult to express modern moods when they are still bound to do blurring techniques which lack the contrast. It takes some weeks or more to complete one artwork but its effects aren’t strong compared with an oil painting. Furthermore, its price is much lower than an oil painting, so artists have not continued to draw silk paintings any more.
What is the main motivation for exploiting a traditional material? For artists, it is the national pride or the national awareness of our national culture because the improvement in the social history. Especially, when great changes happen, a nation’s power  is challenged against the outside forces. They are victories against conquerors, prosperous times, revolutions, great social reform. While a nation express its power to struggle for social improvement, it also show its brilliant culture traditions. Artists are proud of their traditions and they try their best to exploit and develop the traditions. They are aware of their roles, duties and responsibitities for conserving and developing these traditions.

In Viet Nam, when Tran dynasty beat Nguyen conquerors, the feudalism had strengthened its power, the national awareness was developed, Nguyen Thuyen dared to use Vietnamese to write poetry according to Tang poetry’s rules. With the same pride and patriotism, Nguyen Du used the folk  six-and-eight-sentences poetry style to build a symbol of Thuy Kieu.In Vietnamese plastic arts, the most successful materials have been the traditional lacquer and silk recently. Under the dim light of colonization, the patriotic artists were aware of the patriotism, the national spirit and the traditional culture. Although they were still vague, their pride urged them to use lacquer and silk in fine arts in comparison  with oil which was a long – time leading material. It was a signal of forming a true national pride…”(According to artist Nguyen Quan – Using the traditional materials for contemporary subjects – Art researching magazine – in 1978).
( Collected and translated by Lan Phuong)