Icon farmer caught in lacquer graces Hanoi fine arts

By Kieu Duong   January 7, 2020 | 04:30 am PT
"Binh Minh Tren Nong Trang" (Dawn On A Farm) is put on display in Hanoi after representing Vietnamese lacquer painting at several international exhibitions.

The painting, featuring yellow, orange and brown tones, depicts a farmer in the early morning light in great depth. Late senior artist Nguyen Duc Nung used traditional Vietnamese material, including gold sheets to create the work in 1958.

Regional experts hold Nguyen Duc Nung's masterpiece is evidence of the critical role played by Southeast Asian artists in rebuilding their homeland in the postcolonial era. The color of the clouds in Nung's painting hint at a glimmer of hope for the future.

Binh minh tren nong trang (Dawn on a farm). Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong.

"Binh Minh Tren Nong Trang" by Nguyen Duc Nung. Photo by VnExpress/Kieu Duong.

The painting is unique for its use of lacquer and the heroic stance of the farmer, an iconic symbol of the 1950s, according to Phoebe Scott, curator at National Gallery Singapore.

In 2015, gallery director Eugene Tan, alongside Scott visited Hanoi several times seeking a work to introduce Southeast Asia art at its opening exhibit. Among thousands of paintings displayed at Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts, "Binh Minh Tren Nong Trang" made the final cut.

The painting has been on display in Russia and some Eastern European countries.

Enthusiasts can now view the work at Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts at 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hanoi. The museum opens from 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except during Lunar New Year.

Ticket prices are VND40,000 ($1.72) for adults and from VND10,000 - 20,000 ($0.43 - $0.86) for children and students.

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