14/11/2016 08:00:00

The art of watercolour

With a shared passion for watercolour painting, eleven artists from the north to the south of Vietnam gathered to create the special exhibition ‘Homogeneity’ at Ho Chi Minh City’s Museum of Fine Arts from November 15-23, 2016.

Eleven artists include Nguyen Duy Dung, Dinh Quang Hai, Chu Quoc Binh, Nguyen Tien Dung and Nguyen Thai Duong from Hanoi, Bui Duy Khanh and Doan Van Toi from Haiphong, Vo Hoang Nhut (Hoang Vo) from Long An, Nguyen Thanh Nhan from Ho Chi Minh city, Thuy Duong (Duong Ton Quoc Thuy from Khanh Hoa, and Nguyen Van Quy from Vung Tau.

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Silver sunlight. By artist Bui Duy Khanh

Among those artists, Bui Duy Khanh is one of the most famous artists for his natural inspired watercolour paintings displayed at many international exhibitions. Khanh is also the chairman of International Watercolour Society Vietnam.

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Portrait of a farmer. By artist Hoang Vo (Vo Hoang Nhut)

We can not miss paintings of artist Hoang Vo who has gained big successes in his solo exhibition Pieces of Life last August with 108 watercolour portraits.

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Sunny day. By artist Duong Ton Quoc Thuy

 And Duong Ton Quoc Thuy, a newcomer of watercolour material but the young architect has drawn many beautiful modern style watercolour painting since 2015. There are many young artists attending the special exhibition this time and they all share their deep passion in the material.

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Junction Hang Gai-Luong Van Can streets. By artist Chu Quoc Binh

Through the medium of watercolour paint, the eleven artists are working together to share their passion for art and the way they view humanity. The group of artists want to distinguish themselves based on the similarities of their members. The parallels in their work send messages about their art. In Vietnam, artists tend to take one of two paths: rebelling or trying to fit in with the art or society surrounding them. Homogeneity follows the latter.

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Summer noon. By artist Doan Van Toi

“Through watercolour painting I can show my capabilities and my true human nature,” said artist Hoang Vo.

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A corner of hometown. By artist Bui Tien Dung

The 106 paintings evoke subtle feelings and touch people through their honesty. Through their simplicity and non-invasive nature they elicit empathy in viewers. Themes include simple images of the life that surrounds us - a blanket of light and moisture, a gust of wind polishing stones and soft pebbles, busy streets, sparse living quarters, houses, flowers and fruit, lakes and forests and mountains. They are so full of life it feels like one could reach out and touch them. Human activities are given soul through the inclusion of nature, of wind, clouds, water, fog, sunlight, light and dark around them. Portraits offer windows into the soul of the person, and of the artist. Rather than relying on grandeur, jarring and threatening imagery to reach viewers in the way contemporary art often does, the works depict small realities and take a more subtle approach.

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Revival. By artist Nguyen Duy Dung

According to artist Chu Quoc Binh, watercolour is easy to use, but difficult to master. Once accomplished, painters will be mesmerised by the clear, gentleness and exquisite luxury of the medium. “My love of the streets gradually seeps… seeps, slowly into the paint, and combines with another love to create the paintings,” he said.

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Sunshine in museum. By artist Nguyen Thanh Nhan

The melodies of the mind, the rhythms of the soul and the common thoughts of the eleven artists find similarities in the watercolours. Though watercolours have been popular in Vietnam for more than a century, the country has never had a great watercolour painter.

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Gem bowl. By artist Nguyen Thai Duong

“I began using watercolour five years ago when staying on Phu Quoc. There I roamed around the beach, observing my surroundings, and created a set of watercolour paintings. In this exhibition, I found I could fly with the clear colours of watercolour,” artist Nguyen Thanh Nhan shares.

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No.43. By artist Dinh Quang Hai

Artist Duy Dung, who has worked in the field of architecture for the last ten years, realised he wanted more freedom for himself, to create art professionally and to work and live in a professional art environment. “I started drawing and began using watercolour to paint landscapes, to feel once again the air, moments of time and light flooding the world,” said Dung.

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Alley. By artist Nguyen Van Quy

With a shared passion for utilising the almost unlimited capacity and unique strengths of this material, the Homogeneity artists aim to encourage other people to use watercolours and hope to set up an association of watercolour painters end of this year. This is a unique point of the exhibition and a cause worth supporting.

Homogeneity watercolour painting exhibition can be viewed at Ho Chi Minh City’s Museum of Fine Art from November 15-23, 2016.

By Duc Hanh

 

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