HCMC – Lacquer Painting Exhibition “One Happy World” by Nguyen Thi Mai

HCMC – Lacquer Painting Exhibition “One Happy World” by Nguyen Thi Mai

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exhibition one happy world-nguyen thi mai-Red Snake

Opening: Sat 23 Jan 2016, 10 am
Exhibition: 23 – 31 Jan 2016, 9 am – 5 pm (from Tuesday to Sunday)
HCMC Fine Arts Museum

From the organizer:

Nguyen Thi Mai’s journey through art began in 2004. It has essentially been a happy and pleasant one. Having undergone no formal training in art, Mai’s emotion became her art teacher, guiding and steering her in a direction that no art institute, however renowned and accomplished, could have done.

“One Happy World” is Mai’s first solo exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City and is a flashback of some of her best works as well as featuring some of her latest work since her last solo exhibition in Hanoi in 2014.

From her beginning in 2004 to her first major solo exhibition “Roots” in 2012 and the following “Femme” in 2014, the underlying tenet of her work has been joy and happiness, with festivals and celebrations a major theme in her paintings. Mai believes that people are predominantly optimistic and cheerful in outlook, preferring to enjoy and celebrate life.

On a visual level, Mai uses a lot of neutral colors: grey, brown, dark green, bronze, etc… Coupled with the faded color of unpolished lacquer, these colors give Mai’s work a very rustic and rough look.

Another notable feature of her work is the use of the feminine form. The bow of a boat, or the side of a vase, somehow reminds us of the curvaceous form of a lady.

Mai’s work tends to celebrate nature and the traditional, and we can find plenty of tribal motifs and
symbols in her paintings, such as the well known Dong Son drum of Vietnam.

A less obvious aspect of Mai’s art is the influence of music. Mai is very much attracted by the beats and rhythms of music genres like country, rock and even rap. As an artist guided by the purity of her emotion, the music naturally ends up in her paintings, where Mai recreates the beats and rhythms of the music in a visual form.

Mai’s art cannot be easily classified. Combining abstraction with a very traditional Vietnamese technique – lacquer, she adds a further twist to it by leaving her lacquer pieces unpolished! The best way to experience her art is to see it up close.

About artist

Year of Birth: 1966. Graduated from Hue Teacher’s College, Russian Faculty (1985-1990)
Obtained Diploma in Business Administration, Singapore (1999-2002)
Worked in hotel and tourism industry for 4 years (1990-1994)
Worked in logistic industry in Singapore for 4 years (2000-2004)

HCMC Fine Arts Museum
97A Pho Duc Chinh, D1, HCMC

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