Beauty & Meaning of Lotus in Vietnamese Art

Beauty and Meaning of Lotus in Vietnamese Art

Lotus in Vietnamese architectural decoration

In terms of architecture, a building must meet three requirements: the functional requirement, the technical requirement and the artistic requirement. These three elements are always closely related. A design work that has all three elements is considered successful.
The lotus image has become one of the icons in the design ideas of many artworks. Lotus is the flower closely associated with human life for a long time. Especially in Buddhist thought, the lotus is very precious and occupies a very important position. Therefore, in traditional architecture, the lotus is always an artistic image carrying religious belief. Initially, the lotus was planted in front of the three-arched-entrances gate and two sides of the pagoda. Later, this is embedded in the architectural details and becomes familiar. It was often found in the main places of worship of the pagoda, from the stone relief to the stone plinth, from Buddha statues to richly-ornamented pottery.
Dien Huu Pagoda is one of the first pagodas in the history of Vietnamese architecture. There, the lotus image appeared in a very special way – a simulation of a lotus placed in the middle of a lotus pond. If Dien Huu pagoda is a thousand-petaled lotus image erected on a pillar, Pho Minh pagoda gives us a new look at the development of a multi-storey tower model with the image of the lotus through the carved decorations on the lower body.Lotus in Vietnamese architectural decoration

Lotus in Vietnamese sculpture

The sculpture has greatly contributed to the artistic value of the buildings. It can be seen that sculpture is always attached and is an indispensable work in the ancient architecture. In the process of artistic creation, sculptors brought their feelings about nature into their works and then stylized them according to folk sense. At the Cat Tien monument (Lam Dong), the lotus image is used on many different materials: gold, stone, brick,… Sometimes it is embossed on golden leaves in the pillar, sometimes it is the handheld of the gods or engraved on the brick as the decorative pattern on the wall of the tower.
Lotus is one of the images displayed in almost all of the artworks of Cham architecture and sculpture. The artwork “Brahma God” in My Son Gallery expressed the Visnu god holding a blooming lotus with many petal spreads and the Brahma God sitting on the stylized lotus. The artwork associated with the creative rebirth of Brahma – also known as The Creative God. Therefore, the lotus here brings the reincarnation philosophy of life. The most famous statue of Ly Dynasty is the Amitabha statue of Phat Tich pagoda. The statue depicts the Buddha sitting on a lotus tower and sermons. The lotus tower and the pedestal for statue are shaped into a multi-layered pyramid as if the tower lifted the Buddha up. The whole statue gives us an impression of the enlightenment and the static mind.Lotus Vietnamese sculpture

Lotus in Vietnamese paintings

Lotus is a close and eternal topic to many generations of Vietnamese artists. There has been many paintings of lotus and beautiful woman beside the lotus, from “Girl beside the lotus pond” (Lacquer 1938) of Nguyen Gia Tri depicts the girl in traditional long dress freely rambling beside the lotus pond; To Ngoc Van “Young Woman with Lotus flower” (oil painting – 1944) shows the image of a young lady wearing a yellow traditional long dress and enjoying the fragrance of the lotus. Nguyen Sang – the king of Vietnamese lacquer painting also have the picture of the lotus, with a girl thinking deeply beside a lotus vase. The harmony between people and flowers made up the discreet but very gentle beauty of the girl in the painting.
The pattern of the lotus flower on the long ribbon combined with other motifs has formed a combination of patterns, on which we can clearly see the style of each period. If big petals are interspersed with small petals and the pattern is meticulously elaborated is the pottery decoration style of the Ly dynasty; the flattened lotus petal and the round petal head belong to the decorative style of the Tran dynasty. The ceramic art of Ly and Tran dynasty has shown a special step in the history of pottery and played a very important role in the development of Vietnamese pottery art. It has reached the pinnacle of fashion and style.
Modern Vietnamese art has been inherited from traditional art with many valuable and unique heritage. The lotus image in ancient art contains both philosophy and aesthetics. Many generations of artists have achieved success by exploiting the source selectively and creatively. Their artworks are nationalistic and also bring the breath of modern life to meet the increasing aesthetic demands in life in integration with the development trend of the world.Lotus in Vietnamese paintings

The Traditional Materials in Vietnamese Painting

The Traditional Materials in Vietnamese Painting

The French have had long-term and systematic research about Vietnamese people and culture since long time ago. They discovered the virtue of industriousness of Vietnamese through sophisticated handicraft products. In addition, they also focused on training Vietnamese artists towards using indigenous materials and folk-influenced shaping method.

Vietnam wood carvings painting

Before the appearance of Indochina Fine Arts College, Vietnamese painting had its own folk art. Wood carvings is the only kind of wall painting. The North had two famous craft villages: Dong Ho painting and Hang Trong painting. The Central had paintings from Sing Village in Hue. The technique used in these villages is carving paintings on wooden planks and then create multiple prints. However, each village has its own way of making wood carvings. Dong Ho village used many planks to print all colors for a picture. Sinh village printed paintings with black lines on color paper. Hang Trong village only had a black print engraving and then the color part was added by the artisan.
The teachers of Indochina Fine Arts College such as Victor Tardieu, Joseph Inguimberty, Évariste Jonchère saw the distinctive visual features of the material and Vietnamese folk expression through these wood carvings. They encouraged Vietnamese students to study. Since then, many wood carvings have been produced by creative artists such as Do Duc, Tran Van Can, To Ngoc Van,…Vietnam Wood carvings painting

Vietnam silk painting

Nguyen Phan Chanh’s silk painting is an important and decisive finding for the art of Vietnamese silk paintings. He gave birth to a special silk painting that has not been available anywhere in the world. It is painting on the silk surface that has been moistened and scrubbed several times. He painted several layers overlapping each other until the desired hue was achieved. With the deep brown color palette combined with pure white color, Nguyen Phan Chanh’s paintings can express most of the beauty of the landscape and contemporary people. The silk painting artworks of Nguyen Phan Chanh at that time had a significant position in the European market.
However, after flourishing for several decades, silk painting has revealed the inadequacy of materials. That is, with a humid climate, preserving a picture is not easy. Mold is the most dangerous enemy of silk paintings. When infected with mold, silk painting cannot be repaired.Vietnam silk painting

Vietnam lacquer painting

Among the materials discovered by the French teacher very early in Vietnam, lacquer paintings at that time are just the traits of temple and decoration on the statue. Nguyen Gia Tri artist took a deeper look at the possibilities of expressing this material on the paintings. He was so successful that even the French artist in the capital of visual art has to learn. After 1954, Vietnamese lacquer painting was considered a specialty of Vietnamese identity. Not only has it been in the painters’ workshop but also widely used in the field of handicraft production.
Two of the four leading painters of modern Vietnamese painting, Nguyen Sang and Nguyen Tu Nghiem almost devoted their entire life to lacquer painting. They have searched for a lot of techniques and new color palettes for lacquer painting. Their paintings have shown the pure art, only bring a message of conveying beauty to the viewer.
Over the past two decades, Vietnamese paintings have become more open and creative. There have been not many restrictions on the exploration. And the pride of traditional material with national identity also no longer unique position. Painting is gradually returning to the concept of Europe and the world, using the main material of oil painting.Vietnam lacquer painting

To Ngoc Van’s Conception About Art

To Ngoc Van – Life & Careers

From the first exhibition of To Ngoc Van in Sai Gon (17/12/1930) to the day when he passed away in Dien Bien Phu campaign (17/06/1954), his artistic life lasted for 24 years with 2 phases of composition 1930-1945 (before the August Revolution) and 1945-1954 (the war against France). In fact, the social history had had a great impact on his career. If the art reflects the changes in social relations, To Ngoc Van’s paintings partially demonstrate such things.
Indochina Fine Arts College was established in winter 1925 with the first Vietnamese artist generation such as Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, Le Van De, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Cong Van Trung and Georges Khanh. To Ngoc Van was in the second Vietnamese artist generation had learned in this college. He had had the chance to be taught by French teachers, learned artistic technique such as history about the art of cubes, the application of natural colors in order to create renowned pictures afterward. Artist Tran Binh Loc wrote: “In terms of artistic field, To Ngoc Van career is worth being appreciated because he had a good vision, a quality that not all the artist did”. From the beginning, he did not accept the aesthetic ideal of Greece and Italian arts with cold shades of gray, respect for the symmetry, graphics glitches in the classic contour. He had discovered and asserted itself to find beauty, harmony between man and nature.
Graduated in 1931, To Ngoc Van had collaborated with some Vietnamese newspaper such as Phong Hoa, Ngay Nay, Thanh Nghi. Under his pen name To Tu, Ai My, he had written and painted many Vietnam paintings on those newspapers till 1945. If Nguyen Do Cung was a talented artist, an archeologist, To Ngoc Van had completed his mission of opening a new aesthetic practice, a sharp art critic with his new conception of art in general.

To Ngoc Van Artist
To Ngoc Van Artist

To Ngoc Van’s conception about art

Derived from the concept “the beauty in the picture is not the beauty in reality”, in the period from 1930 to 1945, To Ngoc Van’s art style had followed the Western art tendencies but was appropriate for Vietnamese society in the 1930s, the last years of campaign bourgeois revolution. French army, on the one hand, suppressed revolutions; on the other hand, they seduced the Vietnamese people to play the whore. Tu Luc Van Doan group had issued a manifesto that criticized the patriarchal behaviors of Vietnamese people. In these years, To Ngoc Van was in harmony with Tu Luc Van Doan group, he ascertained that his art style was in the same situation with intelligentsia’s one. Many of To Ngoc Van’s artworks in the newspapers such as landscape, Hanoian women expressed his artistic conception about shape, material, color, natural lights
At this time, similar to the artistic aesthete of To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Do Cung had depicted a beauty through narrative “Live and Draw” that was issued in Xuan Thu Nha Tap Journal in 1942. This was a big journal issued many topics such as literature, poem and painting and created by Nguyen Luong Ngoc. Established in 1942, this group had their own art tendency, manifesto, the poem that followed “hermétique” style. Nguyen Do Cung’s work “Live and Draw” was based on To Ngoc Van’s conception about art. His conception accepted that art is a means of expressing emotion rather than a research about the ideal model of beauty. It also confirmed that art must evaluate the human’s value and emotion. He wrote: “I think that a beautiful picture describes my feeling. Therefore, I only believe that a man with full of emotion will become a famous artist”.
All of the To Ngoc Van’s paintings in the period 1930-1945 had demonstrated his conception of art that expressed his personal feeling with the gorgeous tone of color. Although mainly exposed with classical art, French impression under the guidance of professor Victor Tardieu, Inguimberty, he realized the frivolity of the French impression that ignores the human’s emotion. Artist Tran Van Can said “To Ngoc Van had graduated in 1931. It was easy to spot the Gauguin’s influence in picture “Offrande” and Acgianta’s influence on the work “Cadeau de Noce” or Japanese art in work “two shepherd children”.

Thanh Nghi newspaper number 87, 12/10/1944 made a comment about the art exhibition in 1944: “Along with warm yellow tone of color of some artists is oil pain with the bright cold shade of color of To Ngoc Van- an artist always loves his life. Under his eyes, the gloomy scene has something happy inside”. In fact, in terms of To Ngoc Van conception about art, color is the soul of a work no matter what material it is and the artist is the one who controls the emotion to find the inner beauty to express the sophistication of life”. Picasso said: “ I do not find but I see”. We can see that To Ngoc Van’s artistic conception was quite similar to Picasso’s conception.

To Ngoc Van’s artworks about the girls

Young women are always the source of inspiration for the artists. For the artist, it is not only the beauty of the figure but also the beauty of the concept. It is immutable but flexible, transforming wonderfully in each pen brush. It is not an exception with To Ngoc Van.

To Ngoc Van’s paintings – Young Women with a Lilies

In the painting “Young Women with a Lilies”, by the Western realism and combined with the Oriental sensibility of To Ngoc Van, the young women in a white “long skirt” tilting her head naturally toward the vase. She appeared in a lyrical and innocent figure, evokes something very refined and peaceful. With a tight layout and a skillful way using color, “Young Women with a Lilies” has shown the softness and the charm in the curve of the young women and the rosy glow on her cheek. Especially, the pure white lily flowers embellished her beauty.

To Ngoc Van’s paintings – Two girls and a baby

One of the most beautiful paintings by To Ngoc Van is “Two girls and a baby” which became the National Treasure in 2014. In the painting, the artist chose the scene which is a cozy corner in the house. The older sister in yellow shirt sitting gracefully on the bamboo pallet. The younger sister dressed in white with the restless sitting position. She needs advice from her sister for her first love. The scene of the ancient Vietnamese family appears in every detail of the landscape and the people.


The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art

The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art

The material used in Vietnamese Lacquer Paintings

The board

The artists buy the boards ready-made from suppliers. They come in a variety of sizes.
The core of the board is made from plywood. One layer of lacquer is applied to the plywood which is left to dry. Next, the thin cotton cloth soaked in clay are attached to both sides of the plywood. After the cotton/ clay mixture dry, the board will be smooth.
The process is performed five times. Layers of black lacquer are then applied, polished. Thus, the final product appears as a piece of blackboard, very smooth and durable. It consists of several layers, is very resistant, and will not crack due to fluctuation in temperature or humid. It may be wrap slightly due to changes but it is quite easy to straighten it again, as it remains flexible.

The lacquer and colors

Lacquer is a clear sap coming from any of six species of trees growing in Viet Nam.
Lacquer is harvested in the same way as rubber, by making an incision and letting the sap flow. Fresh lacquer is whitish, and turns brown upon exposure to air. It should be noted that lacquer is not a harmless substance. It is a common skin irritant and a cause of contact dermatitis, as well as being potentially carcinogenic. Black lacquer stems from a chemical reaction between lacquer and iron and results from stirring the lacquer with the iron rod for a few days. Lacquer will be mixed with various natural or artificial dyes to produce the colors the artists want. Several shades of red are extracted from a naturally occurring red mineral, cinnabar( mercuric sulfide). White produces from the eggshell. Eggs from ducks are used because they have a better structure than hen’s egg. The eggshells are cleaned and sometimes even burned to obtain a brownish tinge. Most bright colors come from artificial dyes.

The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art
The Process Of Making Lacquer Of Vietnam Fine Art

Other Materials

Several other materials may be used to make lacquer paintings, some of the most common being gold leaf. Silver is used below the layers of colors to create an effect of immense luster. Gold leaf, on the other hand, is often applied as the final layer. An interesting use of gold leaf appears as bright light flowing through the window. A range of other materials may also be used such as shells, sand, epoxy and clay.

How to make a lacquer painting

Applying lacquer and polishing

Making a lacquer painting is a long and arduous process. It may take several months depending on the specific technique of the artist and how many layers of lacquer are included.
Firstly, the composition of the painting may be drawn with chalk on the board, white color is added through the use of eggshell. A pattern is carefully carved in the board. The pieces of clean eggshell are glued to the cavities, and the surface is then made smooth. Clean lacquer is applied and left to dry, and the pattern is then polished.
A basic lacquer layer of colorful lacquer is applied to the board and left to dry. Silver leaf is stuck to the lacquer and covers the silver leaf. New layers of colored lacquer are painted with a brush, each with the different color. In between, clear lacquer is also applied. The artist sometimes applied up to ten layers or more of colored and clear lacquer. The paint is left to dry between each application and the layers are also smoothened.
The most important of the process, however, takes place after the final layer has been applied. The artist will rub and polish different parts of the painting until he obtains the preferred colors for various parts of the painting. Since different colors are located in different layers, rubbing must be done with great care by using fine sandpaper and the mix of charcoal powder and human hair.
The artist must remember in what layer he puts the color and has to be extremely careful not to rub too hard because the painting will be irretrievably spoilt if he rubs through the layer he wants to keep a specific color.


A lacquer painting is very durable. The board is hard and strong and is not easily damaged. The surface of clear lacquer is protective and the painting can easily be polished by the palm of the hand to make it clearer and more lustrous. Vietnamese lacquer paintings are truly a piece of art that may last for generations.

Sketching – The Art of The Moment

What is Sketching

With quick drawing style and typical simplicity, sketch paintings still have a very special appeal thanks to the spirit that is remembered and expressed by the talent of the artist. Hidden behind these sketches is also the special vibration of the artist. All the sadness, regret or life experiences are conveyed by the artists through their sketches.

What is sketching?

Sketching is one of the unique arts. It is a rapidly freehand drawing to record the spirit of the character or object. When drawing, the artist uses the sketching technique to outline the character and scenery first and then rearrange into a layout. This is considered an important step in the process of composing a work.Sketching The Art of The Moment

The spirit of sketching

Sketch paintings require the artist to have a deep and comprehensive view shown in the artwork, the ability to capture all the motion and exciting moment. The more rare and unique moment, the more appreciation the artwork gets. In addition, the artist also needs to have knowledge of the structure of the human body and the object, the principles of light, shadows, the law of distance,…to make the painting more quickly and accurately.

The tools used in sketching

The tools used in sketching, in terms of type, is relatively unitary but have a lot of different styles. Therefore, no matter what kind of tool you want to use, the first thing you have to notice is that you must understand its features. The newcomer should only know the features of two or more tools, then gradually learn to use other tools.
Every kind of tool has its pros and cons. For beginners, a soft pencil is the best choice because it is more convenient to repair the painting that you are drawing. But at the same time, the artist has to practice to generalize and be assertive in their pen strokes, avoiding the need to correct many times.
Once you have a good foundation in fine art, as well as you can capture some of the features of the tools, you can base on the content of the painting to choose the most suitable tool.
Pen: pencils are often used (especially soft pencil), carpenter pencil, charcoal pencil. Also, there are coal, iron pen, watercolor, ink,…
Paper: sketch paper, blank paper, print paper,…
Support tools: paper frame, small knife, rubber,…The tools used in sketching

Vietnamese artists succeed with sketches

Tran Huy Oanh

Following the call of the motherland and with the sensitive soul of the artist, Tran Huy Oanh has quickly discovered and recorded beautiful images of compatriots and comrades whom he accidentally caught and beloved. The military and civil activities in wartime appeared vividly through the paper. According to Tran Huy Oanh artist, sketching is quickly recording the image of an object or people to catch up and retain their spirit. Therefore, it is necessary to observe and find out their facial features. In the painting “Portrait of guerrilla girls”, viewers can see the certainty in each pen strokes. Or in the painting “Local mechanical worker” painted in 1969, the artist has succeeded in portraying the strong, confident expression through the face of the woman worker. Therefore, like photography, sketching is considered the art of the moment.Tran Huy Oanh - Sketching

To Ngoc Van

With the pencil, To Ngoc Van has sketched a lot of paintings about the time fighting against the enemy in the battle of Dien Bien Phu as sketching the guerrilla, the soldier on the way or the reality of the French resistance. He has discovered the noble beauty hidden behind their simple appearance. With the love for the country, he has successfully built the image of the Vietnamese people during the war.To Ngoc Van Sketching

Duong Xuan Quyen

Many Vietnamese art lovers are impressed with Duong Xuan Quyen through his artworks that convey the message of environmental protection. Among them, the painting “In the neighborhood” received the certificate of merit by the Vietnam Fine Arts Association in 2011. However, behind this artwork is the sketch seems to be scrawly without any ideas but in fact very detailed from the layout to the line. With him, in order to have a beautiful painting, sketching step is very important, the artist can choose to draw directly or indirectly through the photograph or the narrator. However, direct sketching is easier to capture the soul of the object, especially the portrait sketch.

Nguyen Gia Tri – The King of Vietnamese Lacquer Painting

Nguyen Gia Tri - The King of Vietnamese Lacquer Painting

Refer to Vietnamese painting, everyone knows the quartet “Tri, Van, Lan, Can” (Nguyen Gia Tri, To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Tuong Lan, Tran Van Can). Among them, Nguyen Gia Tri (1908 – 1993) was the only one to pursue lacquer painting.

Biography of Nguyen Gia Tri

Nguyen Gia Tri was born in Ha Tay province (now belongs to Ha Noi). He graduated from the Indochina Fine Arts College in 1936 and emigrated to the South in 1954. He is the pioneer in turning lacquer from decoration into paintings.
In order to create modern but still nationalistic paintings, the artist combined engravings with new lacquer methods and applied Western paintings layout with traditional elegant drawings. Nguyen Gia Tri’s paintings were forbidden to be brought out of Vietnam because they have been designated as national treasures by the government.

The Art Journey of Nguyen Gia Tri

At first, his paintings were influenced by realistic and impressive style. In the 1940s, he turned to lacquer painting. The familiar theme at this time was the charming young ladies leisurely walking in the romantic natural scenery. Through the skillful hands of Nguyen Gia Tri, charcoal paint, gold, silver, eggshell, cockroach paint could make splendid and mysterious lacquer paintings. He put lacquer technique on the peak, affirmed the importance of lacquer to Vietnamese painting. At that time, many French collected Nguyen Gia Tri’s paintings, they even searched for his sketches.
Besides lacquer painting, Nguyen Gia Tri also used caricatures to satirize the French colonial empire and their henchmen. This message was sharply conveyed through his traditional wood carvings. In 1960 – 1970, Nguyen Gia Tri changed to abstract style. At the end of his life, he returned to the dreamy world of the maiden.The Art Journey of Nguyen Gia Tri

The Graphic Style

In the painting “Girls in the Garden”, the girls have fun together and run around a colorful flower garden. Each shape and movement carries the shaping value. Especially, the beauty of the girls is honored by the sparkling golden color on the sky and the coat embellished by eggshells. With the large size lacquer paintings, Nguyen Gia Tri put the ancient next to the modern, the splendor next to the rustic, the hope next to the nostalgic. Typical is the back of the leaf called “Landscape. With strong lines, large patches of color, it evokes the closeness and the simplicity of the Northern countryside.
Most of Nguyen Gia Tri’s guests are South African and South American billionaires. They need large painting and have no special requirement. They let the artist freely express. Nguyen Gia Tri was the only artist in the history of Vietnamese modern painting have ever valued and sold paintings based on size.

The limitation of lacquer material

To make a lacquer painting takes a lot of time. Nguyen Gia Tri had to refuse orders continuously because he could not complete in time. In addition, the cost of painting lacquer, especially the money to buy materials is also very high. One thing that few people know about is that Nguyen Gia Tri has a strong body because he had to grind pictures every day. That’s why young artists later often afraid of hard work and do not want to make lacquer paintings.The limitation of lacquer material in Nguyen Gia Tri Paintings

Cubism – The Revolution in Modern Paintings

Cubism - The Revolution in Modern Paintings

It was cubism that created a revolution in painting and sculpture in the early twentieth century. The movement did not last long and have great resonance in contemporary time, but it has become the basis for a great creative explosion throughout the flow of painting of the century.

What is Cubism?

Cubism has been considered to be one of the most influential visual art schools of the 20th century, founded by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris from 1907 to 1920. The cubist style emphasizes on the 2D plane, eliminating the traditional expression of perspective and the art theory which favor the natural imitation. They are not bound to the shape, surface structure, color or space. Instead, they bring to viewers a new form of reality through artworks depicting objects divided into multiple arrays and expressed from multiple angles.What is Cubism

Characteristics and style

Cubism appeared when the artist was looking for an approach that expresses the natural world in a new way, helps them reflect things beyond the ordinary appearance of the matter. The cubist artist represents objects from different angles simultaneously. Thus, the form of the object is also broken down into areas, arrays and geometric shapes. It can be said that the Cubist artists see things in a parallel way in space and time.
The development of Cubism can be divided into three stages: the Cubism influenced by Cézanne (1907 – 1909); Analytical Cubism (1909 – 1912) and Synthetic Cubism (1912 – 1914). Most of the artists follow Cubism have composed in both analytical and synthesized styles.Characteristics and style of Cubism

Analytical Cubism

Analytical cubism is characterized by the discrete appearance of many viewpoints and overlapping planes. It is termed analytical cubism due to the structured dissection of the subject from different angles, leads to the complexity of the picture. Objects in the painting are divided into many small, confused and quite abstract arrays. The small patches are densely put at the center and then spread out in many directions, toward the edges. Another feature of this style is that the color scheme is so simple that it’s almost monochrome. In this period, painters use almost the same color palette, in favor of yellow and brownish-grey color.Analytical Cubism

Synthetic Cubism

Synthetic Cubism goes against the layout principle of the Analytical Cubism. In the Synthetic Cubism, the layout of the painting consists of overlapping details, which are painted onto the canvas. Instead of breaking the object into small pieces and then reassembling, the image in this style is built from new elements and shape. The main features of the Synthetic Cubism are summarized as follows: simple lines and shapes, brilliant colors with many basic colors such as red, yellow, orange, blue,…
This period also marked the birth of paper painting. It was Picasso who invented the paper painting with his famous painting “The Still Life With A Cloud”, in which he pasted the oilcloth on a piece of the rattan chair. Braque also inspired this painting to create “The Fruit Plate and the Glass”. The surface structure is also an interest when artists can make use of paper materials along with the paint.Synthetic Cubism

The outstanding artists of Cubism

Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)

Pablo Picasso, the leader of the Cubism, was a special phenomenon of early 20th – century painting. In the early stages of painting, as well as many other artists, the expression of Picasso in painting was very close to the visual sense of reality despite having the potential for innovation. Before finding out the Cubism, he experimented on composing through a number of different schools of art. Then, the influences from the style of Henri Matisse and Henri “Le Douanier” Rousseau as simple drawings, as well as the inspiration derived from Iberian sculpture, Africa sculpture and Gauguin’s artworks was harmonized by Picasso to become a preliminary material for Cubist painting.Pablo Picasso Cubism

The artwork “Avignon Girls” by Picasso composed in 1907 officially marked the emergence of Cubism. In this painting, Picasso processed the cubes by analyzing them into more rough, strong and non-conventional views. The most striking feature of Picasso’s Cubism conception is in the facial expressions of girls in the picture, which is distorted and difficult to determine which direction they are facing. At the same time, the character formation method clearly shows the influence of African art.
Among the topics of works by Spanish artists, we can see the image of the women who had appeared in his life. Picasso’s cubist artworks on women are always very special. They always have something intricate, distorted and even scary. In addition, he also expressed the social tendency in his compositions with the thorny and intense expression about burning issues such as war or the human condition.

Georges Braque (1882-1963)

Georges Braque was a self-taught artist but became successful very soon. He was the one who invented the paper-sticking technique, making paintings by drawing wood or marble grain in modern art. Unlike Picasso, Braque’s style is homogeneous. In Braque’s artworks, people most find only arrays of dark brown, gold, reddish-brown or grey colors but can hardly find brilliant colors.
In Analysis Cubism, Braque divided the cubes into rectangles, triangles,… superimposed on each other. Colors are reduced to the minimum of their expressiveness, leaving only gray-brown tone. In Synthetic Cubism, Braque particularly liked to put the prints and stick the newspaper on the surface of the painting. The newspaper material appears very real next to the blurry or a little bit abstract image.Georges Braque Cubism

7 Tips For Hanging Pictures On The Wall

7 Tips For Hanging Pictures On The Wall

A beautiful painting may increase your home’s value but how to hang them in a beautiful way and make your space look more impressive is not as simple as you think.

1. Choose paintings suitable for your space

Do not buy the paintings first and then find a place to hang them. You should take a look at the room and determine which wall corner is suitable for hanging paintings. There are many different styles: lacquer paintings, wood paintings, watercolors paintings, oil paintings as well as many topics: landscape, portrait, still life, abstract. However, depending on the artistry of the home and interior style that you can choose the most beautiful and appropriate painting for your space.
Normally, each school of art fits an interior style. With a modern house, you should choose landscape painting with elegant color and not too fussy content. With a classic house, oil paintings and lacquer paintings will be very suitable but you have to put aesthetics on top.Hang Paintings Properly

2. The size of the painting must be flexible.

It must be so boring when all the paintings on the wall are the same size. There’s an exception that the artwork with content linking between each other or have the repetition in order to emphasize. But usually, three pictures are enough. On the other hand, the paintings with different sizes placed side by side will give the viewer a harmonious look.

3. Pay attention to the light

Light is the most essential factor to emphasize and embellish the beauty of the artwork. You should use a low voltage halogen lamp or incandescent light bulb to illuminate the painting. You should also pay attention to the capacity of the bulb and the distance from the build to the painting to avoid the heat of the bulb may damage the painting.Pay attention to the light when hanging paintings

4. Appropriate wall space and reasonable height

Do not be too greedy to hang too many paintings on the same wall to show off. They not only look confused but the general aesthetics of the house will be also affected. On a wall, the total hanging pictures area is never should be more than 1/3 of the total wall area. In addition, the reasonable height of the picture is when the main viewpoint of the picture is horizontal to the viewer’s eye. The picture should not be much higher than the eyesight to prevent the viewer from facing up when viewing the picture. For a common room with the height of 3m, the distance from the floor to the center of the painting is about 1.55m.
When hanging the picture in groups, the paintings can be hung in the rectangular group, horizontal group or vertical group, depending on the shape of the wall and the intention of the painting player. The appropriate distance between the edges of the painting is from 8 – 10 cm. In the case of paintings with different sizes, there are three ways to hang in groups: hanging the paintings with the same height of the bottom, the same height of the top or the same height of the center.

5. How to hang paintings properly?

Sometimes just a painting can light up a corner of a house or a room. The paintings are not only interior decoration but also express the style, knowledge as well as the depth and personality of the homeowner. However, it is necessary to know how to hang paintings, which can enhance the beauty of the picture.
Personal frames should be hung in private areas such as bedrooms, relaxation rooms or workrooms. This will not affect your other artworks. You should set aside a wall to capture the moment of your family so that all family members can be able to enjoy them.
Avoid hanging paintings in place that are directly affected by sunlight, where there is high temperature or humidity. The best way that art museums hang their paintings is that they use artificial light instead of natural sunlight. In that way, they can also adjust both the direction and amount of light into the picture.
For pictures in children’s rooms, the height of the painting must match the height of the child. It would be interesting to hang the pictures painted by the children themselves. The simple frame should be used and you should also replace the glass with mica to prevent the risk of children playing can easily drop the frames.Choose paintings suitable for your space

6. Do not intentionally use pictures to cover the interior defects

A false idea is that many people often use paintings as a cover of the wall’s defects. They also have this function if you hang them up in a well and balanced way. However, do not try to insert beautiful pictures into these positions, which will make the place look more confusing.

7. “Little is rare, rare is luxurious”

If you take advantage of this tip, your painting will become more precious and eye-catching. Pay attention to the two crossings of the wall intersection and take it as the central point to balance the place hanging pictures.

3 D Street Art Painting – The Art Of Visual Deception

3 D Paintings

Have you ever encountered on the road a painting, which you think it is a real person or a real object moving in front of your eyes? If so, you have seen a 3D picture painted on the wall or on the road of a street. 3D street painting is a very new kind of painting in Vietnam, but it is quite familiar in the world for hundreds of years.

What is 3D painting?

3D painting is a kind of painting using the light reflection, color and the artist’s way of shaping to deceive the viewer’s eyes from all angles. It is characterized by its vivid, prominent and passive patterns and drawings, giving viewers the illusion of a real thing going on. It could be an ugly, worrying scene like a fire, a broken building, a deep hole, a shipwreck, … or it could also be a beautiful and peaceful landscape like a pond with blooming lotuses, a winding river, a lush forest. Everything is so real as if we could touch them.3D Street Painting

The origin of 3D painting

The 3D street painting has emerged since ancient Greece, when the artist Zeuxius, born in 464 BC, painted a picture of fruits so lively that birds fly dissect. However, it was not until the 16th century, thanks to the works of Italian Renaissance artists and French painter Tromple I’oeil, that in French means visual deception, used to decorate the wall of the luxurious villa, this type of painting was officially known.
In the 19th century, it was innovated on new topics by British artists. Instead of just drawing divine characters, they began to exploit nature or social. From that, the name of modern street paintings appeared. But it must be nearly 100 years later since 1982, 3D street painting has really reached the level of sophistication with the colors and shapes giving the magic illusion of a living entity. That invention belongs to Kurt Wenner – an American painter, formerly a NASA illustrator and master of surrealism. He was the first to devise a three-dimensional technique and took this style around the world.What is 3D painting

What makes 3D painting unique?

3D street paintings attract the viewer by their splendor, surprise and humor. Each work is usually large, cover the road or the wall. In terms of content, it can be anything of the daily life and the dream: landscapes, cultural activities, ancient stories, movies,… Each artist has their own unique artworks depend on the style and theme they choose. Some artists specialize in drawing streams, waterfalls, jungles, birds,…represent the wonders of the world. Others paint scenes of fire, meltdown, collapse,…denote the danger. Some draw the gods, planets, spaceships, hybrids or text with complex characters, numbers that imply mysterious things.
When watching 3D paintings, people always feel relaxed and happy. Therefore, 3D street painting is an entertaining and performing art. This type of painting is also for free display and various purposes that do not affect the politics such as street decoration, branding and travel. Because of being painted with chalk, 3D paintings usually have the short lifespan and be blurred after the rain. In order to preserve the paintings. Nowadays, in addition to the road, many artists choose to compose indoors, where there are roof and glass.The origin of 3D painting

How to make a 3D painting?

3D painting requires the elaboration and accuracy. It takes hours and days to make a picture. In order to make them quickly, they often have to use a variety of techniques, including paper sketch, computer as well as having samples and models for comparison. Once the 3D projection of the object is determined, it will be applied on the wall or the ground. There is a rule as follows: The closer the painting is to the horizon, the more space it occupies. However, due to the limited area of the street or the wall, the artist has to take advantage of each area assigned in order to convey interesting content, erasing the boundary between the real and the unreal. Usually, a work is composed by a composer, but because of its complexity, it is sometimes a product of the collective.

Famous 3D paintings in the world

Cave – Edgar Mueller

Artist Edgar Mueller created a cave right on the street with incredible sharpness and authenticity. This is one of the most highly rated 3D artworks today. The cave in Ptuj (Slovenia) always get the admiration from the passer-by.Cave - Edgar Mueller 3D Painting

Swimming pool – Manfred Stader

The “swimming pool” in the middle of a commercial center in Poland is made by talented artist Manfred Stader. This work is so lively that even customers come here for shopping want to jump into the pool.

The rhythm of youth – Yang Yochun

The artwork named “Rhythm of Youth” was created by a group of Chinese artists led by Yang Yongchun. It is located in Nanjing city, Jiangsu Province, China. The group of artists used a ton of paint and 2 tons of fabric to complete the unique work. The artists planned to create the work in 6 months but they completed it in 20 days with the collaboration of 20 artists.

Nude Photo Exhibitions Causing a Stir in Vietnam

Nude Photo Exhibitions Causing a Stir in Vietnam

From 2017 up to now, three exhibitions “Artifacts”, “Fairyland”, “Art Nude” in turn organized has completely broken the barrier, bringing nude photos closer to the public.

Artifacts – the fuze break the barrier of nude photos

“Artifacts” by Hao Nhien in 2017 is considered the first licensed nude exhibition. It took place from 15 to 18/9/2017 at the HCMC Fine Arts Association. 50 works on display are done in about 7 years. Those artworks with the array of light and dark only show a part of the woman’s body, not the face. The exhibition is like a fuze break the barrier separating the audience from the nude art. Before “Artifacts”, some photographers had asked to open the nude art exhibition but failed.

Previously, the licensing of publishing and promoting the nude art was rather reserved. According to Ms. Tran Thi Quynh Nhu – the expert of the Department of Fine Art, Photography and Exhibition, the Photographers’ Association and the Department has raised the issue of nude photo exhibition but there have been some problems such as the relationship between the artist and the model, the concept of socialization,…Many people can not distinguish between artwork and the offensive, which raises the debate about this rule. Until November 2016, the circular banning beautiful women shooting, promoting naked photos has been removed.

Fairyland & the Passion of Thai Phien with Nude Art

Thai Phien is a prominent artist in Vietnamese nude art. He has been pursuing this genre for 26 years. There have been about 400 nude photos he has taken. Thai Phien is the one who always speaks up loudly, wanting people to consider nude art as a kind of photography and fairly judge it as other types of art. Unfortunately, there are still prejudices that the nude photos are naked and vulgar.
Thai Phien has published two nude photobooks: Youth and Fairyland. The exhibition displays 26 artworks from the photobook of the same name. The number 26 represents 26 years of Thai Phien’s nude photo art. The exhibition has a variety of outdoor photos with a variety of composition space, reflecting the sacrifice for the art of modeling and photography.

The Nude Art Exhibition which Helps Distinguish Flowers from Weeds

Nude art exhibition organized by the Fine Art Exhibition and Inspection Center at 29 Hang Bai Street, Ha Noi from July 20th to July 27th, 2018.
This was the first time the Department of Fine Art, Photography and Exhibition has hosted a nude art exhibition. The exhibition gathers works of 10 artists pursuing nude art all over the country such as Thai Phien, Duong Quoc Dinh, DzungArt Nguyen, Le Quang Chau,… 52 works were carefully selected by the supervision department, in order to honor the beauty of human that gifted by nature. The exhibition aimed to introduce nude art to the public, to help viewers understand and appreciate the aesthetic and human values. At the same time, the purpose of the exhibition is also to change the perception of people, to show the works created by the hand, the brain and the passion of the photographer. These artworks are compared with fragrant flowers. They are different from non-aesthetic nude photos, which are as widespread as weeds on the internet. The artwork in the exhibition express the artistic personality, visual effect, space and light impression, which highlight the beauty of the women and give the viewer the aesthetic emotions.

The photographers who pursue nude art are very excited about the exhibition. The exhibiting held by the state management agency with the scale from the top artists in the country means that all the knot related to nude photos have been removed. “From now on, localities and individuals can also perform nude art exhibition in a comfortable way”, said Thai Phien.
On the public side, there were hundreds of guests attended the opening of the exhibition despite the rain. The next day, visitors went to the exhibition are very crowded, especially on the weekend.