A talk about Vietnamese art will be held on September 15 at 7.30pm at Arthall in Victoria.
Art is taken very seriously in Vietnam. This can be attributed to the country’s ancient traditions, the infusion of the French love for art and the artistic inclination of the people.
During the war and after the unification in 1976, artists mainly produced works of socialist realism, painting revolutionary heroes, propaganda posters or idyllic scenes of life under communism.
Art collectors Bee Bonniger and Hans Friederich, who lived in the capital of Vietnam from 1994 to 1999, will be presenting some of their art pieces at the Arthall gallery.
There were new art galleries in the centre of Hanoi with an everchanging selection of local paintings. There were occasional art exhibitions, and often the artist would be there to introduce his or her works, although not many spoke English. They also got to know a good number of painters and designers who would invite them over to their studios.
Although clearly influenced by outside styles, Vietnamese painters continue to use national imageries. They often use traditional themes that they translate visually in a modern way. Even on semi-abstract, semi-figurative paintings you can still see traditional allusions – the boy on the water buffalo, for example, or the girl in the Ao Dai, Vietnam’s national dress. But these contents are no longer painted in a traditional way, but rather in a modern style. The paintings on show at Arthall are all originals acquired during the collectors’ stay in Hanoi.
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