Exhibition: “Hào khí Thăng Long” | The Epic Spirit of Thăng Long
Opening: Fri 03 Mar 2023, 05 pm
Exhibition: 03 – 12 Mar 2023
Vietnam Fine Arts Museum
66 Nguyễn Thái Học, Hà Nội
From the organizer:
We are pleased to present the exhibition “Hào khí Thăng Long” (The Epic Spirit of Thăng Long) by artists Nguyễn Anh Thường and Vũ Thị Hồng Ngọc. These works were collected over the years, from 2007 – 2023, and selected from the private collection of Phan Minh Hà.
The exhibition “Hào khí Thăng Long” presents to the public for the first time 24 large-scale lacquer and engraved lacquer paintings of artists Nguyễn Anh Thường and Vũ Thị Hồng Ngọc, with a diverse array of subjects ranging from the epic and legendary history of the nation and revolutionary anthems to the splendid Vietnam’s scenery and people.
Following the generation of Indochina’s painters in the years 1925 – 1945, the Vietnamese visual art landscape continued with a talented generation of artists trained during the resistance wars, and after peace was restored in 1954. Nguyễn Anh Thường (Nguyên Vũ) is one of them. Born in 1930, Nguyễn Anh Thường was among the most excellent students in the 1955 – 1957 class of Tô Ngọc Vân at the Vietnam College of Fine Arts. He joined Bắc Sơn resistance fighters, the army and served on the Upper Laos battlefield. In 1959, Nguyễn Anh Thường participated in a delegation of artists led by the then-Deputy Minister of Culture Cù Huy Cận to Quảng Ninh to conduct in-depth field research on the life of labourers in the mining area. He was assigned to lead the first painting class on the mining workers in Cẩm Phả, which laid the groundwork for the widespread development of the art movement in Quảng Ninh mines in later years. From 1959 to 1990, Nguyễn Anh Thường worked at a film studio, creating more than 150 painting films on building and protecting the socialist homeland.
Nguyễn Anh Thường was twice awarded the First Prize for painting films by the National Committee for Youth. In 1990, Anh Thường’s solo exhibition of a series of ink on dó paper paintings about Ha Long Bay received acclaim for his master techniques in Oriental visual art. Among these works, the piece “Bến trăng” (Moon Harbour) won the Bronze Medal at the 1990 National Fine Arts Exhibition.
Throughout Anh Thường’s work and practice are symbolic, optimistic art pieces that bear the marks of Vietnam’s history and society amid the significant changes of the times in the 20th century. Amid the rigours of history, the nation and people of Vietnam continue to rise above to last and flourish in the glory of “Hào khí Thăng Long” in the large-scale lacquers that are concise, powerful and rich in modernity.
Nguyễn Anh Thường’s works are kept at the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum and several private collections in the country and abroad. In particular, Phan Minh Hà’s private collection currently has a comprehensive, systematic archive of his most important and unique large-scale lacquer and engrave lacquer paintings.
Vũ Thị Hồng Ngọc (born 1945) graduated from the University of Industrial Fine Arts in 1978. Her art leans toward simplicity and genuineness, which are Impressionist emotions about the relics of ancient temples and pagodas, the street corners full of leaves changing colour as the season turns, the river wharfs where people evacuated to during the war, and the peaceful bamboo groves in the countryside… All represents an artful, kind, innocent soul that holds dear nature and humans.
The exhibition “Hào khí Thăng Long” is a celebration of Nguyễn Anh Thường’s and Vũ Thị Hồng Ngọc’s art practices and their works, and thereby spreading the art and cultural values of their art to the community.
Hopefully, the vibrant message and the romantic, positive and life-loving spirit of the art pieces in Phan Minh Hà’s collection can deliver the wish for a new year of peace, joy and luck to art enthusiasts from all walks of life in Spring 2023.