Lacquer masters in town
By My Tran in HCMC
A lacquer exhibit on Thursday opened at the HCMC Association of Fine Arts, honoring the traditional art genre of Vietnam.
|A visitor walks by lacquer paintings on display at the HCMC Association of Fine Arts District 3 - Photo: My Tran|
It displays 53 paintings by 42 artists, depicting landscapes, still life, portraits as well as daily social activities. Among them, visitors will have a chance to admire pieces by Nguyen Gia Tri, Nguyen Sien, Nguyen Van Ro, Nguyen Van Minh, Ho Huu Thu, Nguyen Lam, Dao Minh Tri, Duong Sen and Vo Nam.
For over a century, lacquer has played a significant role in traditional Vietnamese painting. Vietnam’s lacquer paintings have earned special attention globally because of its distinct nuance that strongly expresses national characteristics.
Several other materials may be used to make lacquer paintings; the most common are gold leaf and silver leaf, eggs, shells, sand, epoxy and clay.
Therefore, painting with lacquer is a long and complex process requiring great skill and patience. It may take several months, depending on the specific technique of the artist and how many layers of lacquer are included.
It involves the application of many layers of lacquer on a prepared wooden board, allowing each to dry in turn, and finally polishing the painting with pumice to reveal whatever colors the artist desires in different areas of the painting.
Other materials used include eggshell to produce a white color, mother-of-pearl, gold and silver leaf. The final result is smooth and durable and will not crack due to fluctuations of temperature or humidity.
Like other materials, lacquers can be presented in realism, impressionism, symbolism and abstract.
The show runs a week on Friday at the gallery, 218A Pasteur in District 3.