VietNamNet Bridge – Art lovers now have the opportunity to enjoy works by one of the legendary foursome of Vietnam fine art at the Ngan Pho Gallery at 82 Hang Gai in Hanoi.
Nguyen Tu Nghiem is considered a pioneer in combining folkloric tradition with a modem spirit, creating a uniquely Vietnamese style.
He is one of the famous four painters of Vietnam’s modern art, called Nghiem – Lien – Sang – Phai.
Even when he was still a student, his teachers and peers admired him for his creativity, especially his lively oil paintings on rural themes such as Grazing the Buffaloes in the Rain, The Cow at the Gate of the Pagoda and The Guardian of the Temple of literature.
Together with painter Nguyen Do Cung, he visited many temples and pagodas familiarizing himself with each statue and carving. These trips provided him with the material and inspiration for the development of his artistic language.
Nguyen Tu Nghiem was never satisfied with himself, trying to exhaust every single theme he embarked on with as many paintings as he could. He would pursue the same theme for many years. It took him 27 years of pondering on one theme, from the An Ancient Dance (1956) to An Ancient Dance (1983).
Moreover, he managed to take Vietnamese modern painting back to the roots of the national identity with a series of folkloric pictures including The Mid-Autumn Festival (I963), The Lion Dance (1962) and Genie Giong (1976). No other painter could blend traditional culture and modernity better than Nguyen Tu Nghiem.
Nghiem was born in 1922 in Nam Dan District, Nghe An Province. He graduated from the 1941-1946 class of the Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine. He was awarded the Ho Chi Minh Prize for Literature and Arts in 1996.
His main works include: The Guardian of the Temple of Literature (oil, 1944), New Year’s Eve on the Bank of Restored Sword Lake (lacquer 1957), An Ancient Dance (gouache, 1983), and Genie Giong (lacquer 1976).
Nguyen Tu Nghiem’s one solo exhibition was held in the late 1980s.
Artist Mai Anh and her husband Trung Thanh (manager of Ngan Pho Gallery) are displaying 35 artworks by Nguyen Tu Nghiem at the gallery. Of these, 36 paintings are owned by Mai Anh and five by her friends.
The exhibition will close on March 12.