The vitality of Luu Cong Nhan’s paintings

Sunday, 2017-09-03 13:06:16
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Painter Luu Cong Nhan is creating a painting.
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NDO – The exhibition ‘Stroke’, which was considered as a strong imprint and a unique assertion of the style from the painter Luu Cong Nhan (1931-2007) – one of the leading Vietnamese painters, is being held from August 25 to September 24 to mark his 10th death anniversary. This is the first large-scale solo exhibition after many years as he did not showcase his paintings in Hanoi.

As many as 56 paintings with different themes and materials are being showcased at the 2,000 square metres area at the Vincom Centre for Contemporary Arts (VCCA) in Hanoi. This is the first event under the Public Exhibition category, offering an opportunity for visitors to understand more about famous and promising painters of Vietnamese painting.

Notably, 52 out of 56 exhibits were selected from over 400 paintings, a collection of 400 Luu Cong Nhan artworks that belong to the art collector Nguyen Phuc Huong – the largest collection of the late artist’s works to date. Over the past half year, artist Le Thiet Cuong – the exhibition’s curator has made efforts to carefully prepare for the event. Those Visiting the exhibition can enjoy the oil painting titled ‘Binh Dan Hoc Vu’ (People Learning) - one of the most popular artworks created by Luu Cong Nhan in 1955. In addition, this event will also be a rare opportunity for many of his artworks to be introduced to the public, including ‘Nhung co gai cong truong’ (Female construction workers) which currently belongs to the collection of the Apricot hotels. (by Ngo Tan Trong Nghia, Le Thiet Cuong, Dao Hai Phong and Nguyen Mai Lan) as well as many others which have been displayed at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum such as the oil paintings ‘Mot buoi cay’ (A Day on the Field) and ‘Hanh quan’ (Marching) created in 1960 and 1950 respectively.

The main part of the exhibition will feature 29 nude paintings – the virtue of Luu Cong Nhan. The aesthetic artist completed his mission to honour the beauty of the women. This open, self-confident and up-to-date artistic thinking helped Luu Cong Nhan to create vivid paintings. Audiences can see the characters in his paintings seemingly breathing and looking into this world. Luu Cong Nhan was allegedly influenced by the French painter Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) on the style of expression which honours the natural beauty, particularly the beauty of the women’s bodies. However, he has never been a copy of any one. The artist was well travelled and created many paintings which he presented to friends; therefore, audiences can enjoy his artworks in many places, not only in galleries.

Luu Cong Nhan’s paintings contain the contrast between simplicity, luxury and the sensual. In addition to his paintings on the beauty of women, he created portraits of his wife - pharmacist Tran Thi Phi Phung. With his airy drawing, tight, but open layout and modern style, he created a world full of vitality.

Graduating from Vietnam Fine Arts University during the resistance war period (1950-1953), Luu Cong Nhan was one of the most outstanding students of the renowned Vietnamese painter To Ngoc Van. He had been honoured with many prestigious awards such as the State Award for Literature and Arts in 2002. The painter also contributed to positioning Vietnamese modern fine arts in the world through numerous prizes at international exhibitions.

Introdcuing the master painter, artist Le Thiet Cuong wrote that in his paintings in watercolour, grape ink, even iron pen and charcoal papers, Luu Cong Nhan’s talent was clearly expressed. The opposites displayed at the ‘Stroke’ exhibition are the life - the human realm, benefits – costs, cheerfulness – sadness, happiness – unfortunateness, and giving – receiving. The beauty of the paintings in the ‘Stroke’ exhibition reminds one of the Asian calligraphay – the style of painting by only one stroke.

With talented artists, death is not the end because their soul, heart and brain were concentrated in their great masterpieces. Luu Cong Nhan passed away ten years ago, however his heartbeat and eyes remain in his paintings as well as in the life. His arts manifesto is still highlighted through his artworks at the exhibition: the true fine arts do not need rhetoric and true artists paint with their love.