Silk paintings collection celebrates women’s beauty, complexity

By Mai Nhật, Mai Nhat   September 13, 2018 | 03:18 pm GMT+7

“Inside of me” is inspired by the women around Hanoi artist and writer Nguyen Thi Chau Giang

Silk paintings collection celebrates womens beauty, complexity

Artist-writer Nguyen Thi Chau Giang has unveiled a collection of nude paintings, “Inside of me”. The works feature women with dragons, representing the former’s inner strength as well as struggles. In photo: Girl with dragon, water color and ink on silk

Becoming Dragon

"Becoming Dragon"

The artist said she likes to draw nudes because there is beauty in fragility and vulnerability. That is also why she chose silk as her canvas, since it is “fragile” and intricate like the “complicated mind” of women, she said. Most of the models in her paintings are her friends or housekeeper. Sometimes she “used herself as inspiration.”

Hidden Dragon

"Hidden Dragon"

This painting is Giang’s favorite. She isn’t too worried about normal beauty standards when it comes to her models. “I have my own standard of beauty; most of the women in my paintings are rounded and healthy looking,” she said.

Inside of me - the feature painting

"Inside of me" - the feature painting

The dragon is an inspiration for Giang. She said: “The dragon is a symbol of prosperity, but sometimes can also be seen as a dark force. These are the characteristics of women’s complex inner world.”

Silk paintings collection celebrates womens beauty, complexity - 4

“I want to portray the conflict between good-evil, joy-sadness... The colors blue-red represent these conflicts. Everyone has inner demons they have to fight constantly,” said Giang.



Unlike oil paintings, silk paintings can’t be erased.

Silk paintings collection celebrates womens beauty, complexity - 6

There are a few trios in the collection. Giang sometimes draws inspiration from fights and worries in her married life.

The girl with the Dragon tattoo

"The girl with the Dragon tattoo"

The exhibition attracts many visitors from other countries such as the U.K., U.S. and Korea. The imagery and materials used are very East Asian.

The Love

"The Love"

Her paintings are valued from VND140 million ($6,000) to more than VND500 million ($21,500). The transparent nature of silk causes an impressive visual effect in the case of paintings done on both sides.

Chau Giang at work

Chau Giang at work

Giang was born in 1975 in Hanoi. Her family moved to HCMC when she was eight. Twice, in 1997 and 1999, she was named among the city’s Top 10 Talented Young Artists.

After graduating from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Arts, she got a four-month scholarship to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in France. In 2014 she was a resident artist in New York.

Besides painting, she also wrote dozens of memoirs and short stories. She has won the “Young people literature” and “Literature for country’s future” awards given by the Writers Association of HCMC and Tre Publishing House.

The exhibition, at the Vin gallery, 6 Van Mien Street, Thao Dien, HCMC's District 2, will go on until October 20.

Chau Giang's husband - song writer Tang Thanh Nam - plays violin next to the paintings, adds a sophisticated ambience to the exhibition. 

go to top