Vietnam Fine Arts began when the French colonialists established the “Fine Arts College of Indochine” (FACI) which exclusively opened for the three Indochine countries Viet Nam,Laos and Cambodia following an allaround European training method.
A few Vietnamese intellectuals including artists such as To Ngoc Van, Tran Van Can, Nguyen Do Cung, Phan Ke An, Luong Xuan Nhi followed the patriotic insurrection general resistance against the French (1954), formed a new group and detached themselves from the original group of famous artists such as Nguyen Gia Tri, Le Ba Dang, Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu, and Le Thi Luu.
The year 1954 was marked by Dien Bien Phu Victory and Viet Nam was temporarily devided into two regions, North and South, according to the Geneva Argreement. While North Viet Nam undertook the establishment of a socialist system, in the South, the First Republic of South Vietnam was established . In accordance with the Geneva Agreement’s consents, many intellectuals regrouped in the North and South. This event caused a tragic seperation of Viet Nam Fine Arts.
In North of Vietnam, Nguyen Sang, Bui Xuan Phai, Duong Bich Lien, Luu Cong Nhan, Nguyen Tu Nghiem and several young generation artists with different training techniques and methods, developed their unique characters and art works. In South Viet Nam, Nguyen Trung, Dinh Cuong, Nguyen Lam, Nguyen Phuoc, Nguyen Khai, Nhieu De soared towards individualistic style and innovation.
In 1975, when the war ended, Viet Nam became a unified country. However, for the next 15 years, Vietnamese Fine Arts remained with clear distinction of Northern and Southern art cultures. In the mid-1990’s, a new wave of artists with brilliant creative styles began to embrace modern art and traditional inheritance as their distinctive marks at international exhibitions .
Vietnam Fine Arts bear the seal of an agricultural tradition, attaching to the community life of small villages with the influence of Confucianism. Thus, one can hardly find any new trends or thoughts except those coming from the outside world. It’s not to say that contemporary and modern art doesn’t exist in Vietnam but one must admit that it lacks the monumental works with philosophical uniqueness.
If brief, Vietnamese Art represents a quiet beauty and simplicity of Vietnamese people with a long history of wars and economic struggles.
Artist: Le Thiet Cuong
– 1962: Born in Hanoi, Vietnam
– 1990: Graduated from the Vietnam State Film College in Hanoi
– 1991: “The Pastoral” in Hanoi
– 1995: “The Quiet Part” in Hong Kong and Singapore
– 1997: “The Changing Eye” in Hong Kong and Singapore
– 1998: “Vietnam today” in Zurich, Switzerland
– 1996: “Vietnam-Contemporary Art” in Germany
– 1997: “View of Contemporary Art” in Vintiane, Laos
– 1997: “From the Red river to Mekong” in Vietnam and Paris
– 1998: Exhibition in International Center Washington, USA
– 1998: “Lanima soffocata” Bassano del Grappa, Italy
– 1998: “3 Contemporary Vietnamese Artist” in London, England
– 1999: Exhibition in Swizeland, London, German
– 2000: Exhibition in Hong Kong and Japan
– 2003: Exhibition in Singapore.