VnExpress International
The most read Vietnamese newspaper
Contact us |
Follow us on            instagram

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

By Mai Nhat   August 10, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
Artist Dang Thi Thu An presents a series of oil paintings of Vietnamese women in traditional attire, reflecting a ‘modern beauty’ via subtle moods and expressions.
Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

The artist’s “Huong Thoi Gian” (Perfume of Time) collection is on display at the “An & Huy” exhibition that opened on August 6-12 in Ho Chi Minh City. “Thi” (Diospyros decandra fruit) is part of the “Huong Thoi Gian” art collection.

The exhibition “An & Huy” features the works of artist couple Dang Thi Thu An and Nguyen Duc Huy. Video: VnExpress/Mai Nhat

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

Thu An, an artist born in Hue, has painted Vietnamese women for the past 15 years, inspired from a young age by the dignity and grace of female students in the former imperial capital as they attended school wearing theao dai. Her works has since gone beyond central Vietnam to women across the country, she says. She also insists that despite being invariably dressed in the nation’s traditional attires, they go beyond tradition, too. "The women in my paintings still wear the ao dai, ao yem (camisole), ao tu than (four-part dress)... but they are not framed by old standards. Their appearance now has a sense of modern beauty, expressed through clothing textures and makeup."

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

“Du Xuan” (Spring Trip) is one of the largest paintings in the exhibition (140cm height x 283cm length). Most of Thu An’s paintings are large-sized. "Many collectors ask why I don't create smaller paintings to save my time and material. But I want to set a difficult goal to challenge myself when I am still capable of doing it."

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

She says she is focused on presenting the inner beauty of characters through various expressions on their face – confusion, shyness in their confused look, shy smile, and sulky expression. Art researcher Ngo Kim Khoi commented that the young women in Thu An's paintings have many different ways to express their emotions. Sometimes they look gentle and innocent, sometimes confident, and sometimes confused and dreamy.

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

A southern woman wearing an ao dai and holding lotus flowers. The artist says: "I don't intentionally compare the beauty of women in the three regions (northern region, central region, and southern region). I want to send a message: It is our quintessential traditional values that will last forever."

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

She also takes inspiration from famous artists like Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu.

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

The painting "Tuoi Than Tien” (Age of Fairy Tales) is a portrait of the artist's youngest daughter. She says most of her paintings are inspired by her three daughters. The youngest one is 8 years old, and the oldest one is 13. She imagines what they will look like when they grow up, and creates her paintings based on her imagination. "I mostly draw for my children - the most beautiful girls in my mind."

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

One of Thu An’s favorite paintings in the "Perfume of Time" collection.

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

The painting “Niu” (Clinging) is inspired by the masterpiece “The creation of Adam” (created circa 1511 by Michelangelo).

Oil paintings portray enigmatic beauty of Vietnamese women

Thu An and Duc Huy are natives of central Quang Binh Province. They studied at the College of Arts, Hue University. After decades of working together, they held their first joint exhibition in 2017. Both are members of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association and the Thua Thien - Hue Provincial Fine Arts Association.

 
Enjoy unlimited articles and premium content with only $1.99 Subscribe now
 
go to top