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Young artist receives top award.

Monday, 6 December, 2010.

imagehandler00.jpgHA NOI — The Young Talent Prize was awarded to artist Pham Tuan Tu yesterday in Ha Noi.

Tu will receive a grant of US$1,000 in cash and $2,700 for his solo exhibition where he will present his new pieces.

They include four paintings titled Bud, In Front of the Mirror, Gay and Uni-sex which are all acrylic on canvas.

He uses a reduced colour palette. With his greys, browns and dim-yellows he creates an almost medieval ornamental background for his highly emotional and intimate plots, according to Natasha Kraevskaia, a member of the judging panel.

The sexually ambiguous characters in Tu's painting are perplexing. Based on the titles of the paintings, they are identified as gay or lesbian, but they are really depicted as transgender characters in his paintings.

"The viewer can see the same face, but we cannot say that it's a recurring image. Each piece expresses different feelings: from relaxation and dreams to fears and phobias," said Kraevskaia.

Born in 1981, Tu is a graduate from Ha Noi College of Industrial Fine Arts. He is a member of the Club for Young Artists of Viet Nam Fine Arts Association and has participated in a number of exhibitions in Ha Noi over the past two years.

He was chosen from eight artists based on aesthetics, relevance, context and originality.

The eight finalists have been exhibiting their paintings at the Fine Arts College where their work has been on display to the public.

The competition website also functioned as a forum for comments and discussions about the various works. Many remarks were submitted and these discussions will help inspire up and coming artists.

The Danish Cultural Development and Exchange Fund will award a prize of VND2 million for the best comment by the end of this week.

This year's competition drew the attention of artists from Ha Noi, HCM City, Hue and various other localities across Viet Nam.

More than 700 images were submitted by 165 applicants. — VNS