Art of Vietnam - Another Look

15:57 | 09/12/2015 Society

(VEN) - Loving paintings by Vietnamese Indochina Fine Arts College graduates, collector Nguyen Minh recently launched a painting exhibition entitled, “Art of Vietnam – Another Look” at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.

Art of Vietnam - Another Look

The Art of Vietnam – Another Look exhibition draws great public attention

Nguyen Minh is known as a collector who possesses many paintings and previously desired but failed to set up an art museum. In the 1990s, he sold the majority of his collection for commercial purposes not being really interested in the art of painting. In 2010, he participated in an auction hosted by the Sotheby’s in Hong Kong-China and saw paintings by Vietnamese painters Nguyen Tuong Lan, Le Pho and Vu Cao Dam for the first time. He was so fond of these masterpieces that he bid and won. He was then fully conscious of buying paintings for collection, not for sales. What is special in his collection is that all paintings were painted by the Vietnamese Indochina Fine Arts College graduates who managed to draw their homeland from recollections.

Nguyen Minh bought about half of the 63 paintings on exhibition through auctions in the US, Hong Kong-China and Singapore. “I bought Bui Xuan Phai’s Pho Hang Thiec (Hang Thiec Street) painted in 1984 at an auction hosted by the Hong Kong-based Bonhams on October 9, 2014. This masterpiece was painted in sad shades of color, featuring a silent street, recalling the old living in Hanoi with his own feelings,” he said.

He also bought Dinh Minh’s paintings of Hanoi’s landscapes and Nguyen Van Binh’s rural paintings from former Italian Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Piero Paris, which were allegedly painted in the 1980s, describing Hanoi’s Ngoc Son Temple and Vietnam’s peaceful rural areas. “I awfully love these masterpieces as they were painted by patriotic painters who were interested in Vietnamese socioeconomic life and managed to reflect it with sophistication,” Minh said.

According to Minh, some of his paintings cost a fortune and he had to made great efforts to have the right to own them. For example, Le Pho’s Diem Tam (the Breakfast) was bought on May 3, 2015 at an auction hosted by the US-based Freeman after the 49th bidding and Me Con (Mother and Child) from a Sotheby’s auction on October 6, 2013 after the 339th bidding.

These paintings have been viewed as partly contributing to enriching the Vietnamese modern and contemporary art of painting, attracting the attention of both domestic and international audience. Minh expects that his exhibition will offer young painters an opportunity to learn how some well-known painters of former times to use colors, shades, and perspective in their paintings.

Nguyen Minh’s collection has provided the public a different view of Vietnamese little known art of painting in former times. He has probably made the best answer to the questions on Vietnamese painting development from the past to present time. What worth to note is what we want, can do, and will do to make the Vietnamese painting art look more distinctive in the future, said art critic and culture researcher Phan Cam Thuong.

Nguyen Minh, so far known as one of Hanoi’s several collectors of antiques, calligraphic and art works, possesses more than 200 paintings in his Art of Vietnam – Another Look collection, depicting different development periods of the Vietnamese modern and contemporary painting art through war, subsidy and renovation from 1940s to 1990s.


Hoa Quynh