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Artist Thanh Chuong brought “Vietnamese spirit” to Korean

Sunday, 31 January, 2011

This is the first time a big exhibition of Vietnamese Fine Arts called “ Phong cảnh và tinh thần Viet Nam ” ( Landscape and Mind of Viet Nam ), consisting of 41 works by 39 artists who are representatives for three periods of Vietnamese Fine Arts has been displayed in Korea from December 12th, 2010 to February 2nd, 2011 at Gwangju Museum of Fine Arts.

Returning from Korea, artist Nguyen Thanh Chuong, a member of the executive board of Vietnamese Fine Arts Association which has cooperated with Korea to organize this exhibition, said : “ At first, the Korean partners asked me to choose pictures, but I didn’t want to individually carry out this project so I asked Vietnamese Fine Arts Association because the association has got enough art collections and experts in order to cooperate with the Korean partners. In this exhibition, there will be 9 pictures borrowed from Vietnamese Fine Arts Museum, 29 pictures chosen from 500 pictures and the rest was chosen by the Korean partner.

*Why is the  exhibition going to be a big event in the Fine Arts field in Korea?

Because only solo exhibitions have been organized by independent artists and galleries so far in Korea.This is the first time, Vietnamese Fine Arts foundation was systematically introduced with a big scale at the Korean national museum. According to curator Kim Hee Rang: “ This exhibition’s purpose is “closing the past and looking forward the future”. The war obsession has been still existed, only arts could link everybody together. Korea is the first ranked investor in Viet Nam with over two thousand companies and about 35 Korean-Vietnamese families and fifty thousand Vietnamese employees in Korea”, while there are a few Viet Nam’s films, music and exhibitions in the country – an Asian dragon. It is hoped that this event give more chance for Viet Nam to “export” arts to oversea.

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*In the list of 39 artists, there are not the names of four Vietnamese leading artists. Could you introduce about this exbition?

Choosing pictures for this exhibition is in topics. For the topic of landscape and tradition, 14 pictures painted by the typical artists of the Indochinese College of Fine Arts such as Ta Thuc Binh, Nguyen Van Ty, Ngo Manh Quynh, Ngo Minh Cau, Thai Ha, Nguyen Trinh Thai, Tran Khanh Chuong. About war and pain, pictures of the artists in the period of the resistant war against American, for example Le Thanh Duc, Ai Thi, Pham Mui, Doan Hong have been chosen. For the topic of the modern generation there were eleven artists’ artworks, for example Dinh Quan, Do Hoang Tuong, Le Thanh Thu, Do Thuy Hang (who is artist Dang Xuan Hoa’s wife),... Artworks by the leading artists consisting of Tran Van Can, To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Sang,... could not be displayed there because it is very difficult to borrow them as well as the organizers could not affort their insurance fees let alone protecting these pictures while exhibiting for nearly 2 months.

For me, the Korean partner would like me to choose my two artworks. So I have chosen two lacquer paintings called Dan ong va dan ba ( Man and woman ), and Hanh phuc ( Happiness ) belonging to  the third topic. Based on the purpose of this “export” is about spirit only, not for sale and all pictures could not be sold even though they were charged at any high price.

*Thank you.

( Collected and tr anslated by Lan Phuong )