Hanoi Studio has introduced a collection of 21 paintings by artist Vu Dinh Tuan – an artist with a unique style of silk painting who has passionately created contemporary art that has inspired Vietnamese silk painting for more than a decade.
Faces with a mystifying look, and bright eyes that appear through a vivid rapture of colors, sky, ocean, sun, wind, day and night …
Thoughts like floating clouds, insects seemingly gnawing at life,… in a tangled web of life that suddenly emerges from flower buds glowing in the bright, sublime and miraculous.
The paintings imbued with the philosophy of life as a reminder that: although life is grim, human life is empty and meaningless, but somewhere in each soul there are bright spots of inner beauty, so be patient to admire, explore and feel.
Tuan must be a master of silk paintings, his brushes are so skilled and exquisite. The color blends with silk lines, it’s difficult to imagine how the artist can create such the elegant and subtle ‘oeuvre’.
The Magician of Silk Painting
Artist Vu Dinh Tuan shares with Leisure & Travel his passion and inner thoughts that reflect in his paintings.
What philosophy is implied in your paintings?
Some paintings simply reflect the beauty of life and touch the viewer’s emotions. Others reflect the depth of the mind, thoughts, vibration and philosophy of life. I do not draw on orders or the liking of others, but rather draw the way that life affects me. I wish my art to be inspirational and meaningful, allowing viewers to find their own life and meaning in it. The real credit to an artist is to find sympathy among people, when art brings people together.
What is the secret with the name ‘Silent to admire flowers’ ?
To me, all things in this material world have souls. A flower has a spiritual life -the soul of a flower. When a flower blossoms, it’s at the peak of its life. If you place your soul inside a flower, you will see its spirit. Those who have ever seen a Epiphyllum bloom will have the feeling that it is so subtle, so fragile that only a slight noise can make its petals close.
Human life is similar, in the chaos of life, the soul is very fragile, easy to break. Mind flowers are not from the earth, neither from the sand, but it grows from a mental and universal energy. The mind light does not need to be connected to a power source but still emits energy.
Why the faces?
The world where we live is very chaotic. We often look at things through faces. I started painting faces from 2009. These are not the face of a specific person, but they represents life, time and things, and can be called ‘time slices under the form of faces”. Time goes through the life of each person with memories, events, and joyful moments, all being brought into the form of faces. These souls are in the natural world around us: ocean, cloud, sea, forests, plants, insects …
What’s the technique of processing watercolor on silk?
The characteristic of traditional silk painting is diffusion. Watercolor on silk or on paper is often blurry, but I do it another way to control the spread of color in a specific area. Someone called me a ‘witch’ of silk paintings but I think it is very natural, this is just a modern application of the technique.
Do you need a special kind of silk for paint?
Previously silk for painting could be ordered in many places, but according to my standard, silk must be strong, durable and thick, thus I order separately in Ha Nam. Now, the quality of this silk is so popular that it has become the norm, and silk-woven craftsmen have become very skillful, contributing to the revival of silk weaving careers.
How much time do you take to complete a painting?
I often do not answer this question, because I have 2 ways to define time. One is the ‘material time’ the artist spend on his work. And the second type is ‘art working time’ that is unmeasurable, which can be counted in a lifetime. That implies the artist’s own thinking, experience and expertise. The worldview and human life of the artist are shown on the paintings. It’s these factors for which time can not count.
What is typical of Vietnamese silk painting?
Many European and Asian countries have cloth paintings but silk is only in Vietnam. Silk painting in Vietnam has many layers, by going through a process of painting and then brush it to put another color. After several dyes, the colors on the silk spread, creating a richer shade, and deeper colors. The better colors absorb inside, making a more beautiful painting. Like a woman the beauty and charm are hidden inside, and Vietnamese silk painting has followed in this direction. However, if you keep on these traditional techniques forever, painting art does not improve and grow, so I have to find out new ways to express.
Have you passed on the passion and technique of silk to your students?
Not only my students, but I have also passed on the passion and techniques to my colleagues. I have gathered a number of artists who often hold high quality exhibitions that are greatly appreciated. Good works contribute to, inspire and stimulate artistic creation that ‘activate’ the talents of other colleagues. This in turn, helps promote the development of modern painting in Vietnam. I do not keep the knowledge for myself, especially in art, and we should not do so. I think like technology, skills and knowledge should be shared. Only through creativity, feeling and experience belonging to each person will a difference be made. Many young artists are moving in this direction and they are developing very well.
Who owns your paintings?
At present, I have a stable number of collectors, both Vietnamese and foreign. They became a group who pass on the passion to each other and wait for my new works to collect. Some see their lives in my paintings, others like the philosophy in them. I am happy to receive sympathy of the audience. I can say that the number of Vietnamese collecting my paintings is increasing, for some of them it is a way of investment. Among them there are wealthy people who have a collection inclusive of all the famous artists in Vietnam.
Born in 1973
Painter – Master of Fine Arts
Lecturer of Vietnam Fine Arts University
Graduated from the Central Art Education in 1993
Graduated from Vietnam Fine Arts University in 2000
Internship in Maine Fine Art School – Portland – Maine – USA in 2000
Many exhibitions in Vietnam and overseas
22 Arts Awards from 1999 to present