Veteran artist shows new works

Reading circle: A painting by Nguyen Tu Nghiem is part of his on-going exhibition.

Reading circle: A painting by Nguyen Tu Nghiem is part of his on-going exhibition.

Pop art, beautiful landscapes and traditional dances are all part of thenew works in the exhibition, which ends on February 5.

Nghiem, born in the central province of Nghe An in 1922, studied painting under Joseph Inguimberty, Nam Son and To Ngoc Van. He graduated from the Indochina Fine Arts College in 1946.

Later he joined the resistance movement and moved to Viet Bac where he ran a painting studio for the provisional government’s Association of Arts and Literature.

In 1950, he worked as a teacher for the Resistance School of Fine Artslocated in Dai Tu District of Thai Nguyen Province. The school was under director To Ngoc Van, one of the country’s most talented artists.

After 1954, he returned to Ha Noi and taught at the Industrial Fine Arts College until 1960 before working as an independent artist.

“Nghiem’s innovative style is characterised by a deceptive modernistsimplicity, while his inspirations are steeped in Vietnamese traditions,” art critic Thai Ba Van said.

His art was the first to build on primitive elements deriving from the most traditional Vietnamese imagery, from the sculptures of ancient pagodas to the icons of Dong Son culture.

It also included the traditional zodiac, folk dances, local festivals and ancient mythological stories.

He received the Ho Chi Minh Award from the Government in 1996.

As one of the most popular artists in Viet Nam, Nghiem’s art has had a profound influence on the younger generation.