Bridget March, a British painter and writer, is using her gallery in the central tourism hub of Hoi An to showcase her Vietnam-inspired artwork and offer visitors original and authentic works as an alternative to ‘fake art’ being sold rampantly throughout the city.
The Tháng Ba, or March, gallery, located on a quiet section of Phan Boi Chau Street just steps away from the famous Hoi An Ancient Town, houses artwork created by March over her nearly five years of living in Vietnam and falling in love with the country.
Bridget’s works extend well beyond the painter’s easel. In fact, she is so in love with Vietnam that she has published two books about the country, including “A Week in Hoi An” and “A Summer in Sapa.”
She plans to release another about Ho Chi Minh City in the near future.
“All of my work is intended to enrich visitors' experience of Vietnam by drawing attention to the beauty, colours, and unique character of the landscapes and urban scenes of everyday Vietnam,” Bridget told Tuoi Tre News on Wednesday.
Bridget is collaborating with other artists in order to change the image of the art market in Hoi An and transform the city into a cultural destination for art lovers.
“Visitors to Hoi An often believe that they will be able to buy 'art' in Hoi An but soon discover that everything is fake. Then, they lose all faith in Vietnamese art because they cannot tell what is real and what is fake,” she said.
“There are only about 10 out of the dozens and dozens of galleries that offer original work by artists and they are very difficult for the tourists to find and even more difficult for them to trust.”
“I am doing a complete survey of galleries in Hoi An and will be publishing my recommended 10 galleries for collectors to visit very soon,” she added.
According to the artist from North Yorkshire, another problem in Hoi An is that ‘souvenir cowboys’ steal work from hard-working artists and put bad reproductions onto notebooks, fridge magnets, posters, T-shirts, and postcards.
Bridget’s watercolours, drawings, etchings, and paintings have been sold successfully at solo exhibitions throughout Vietnam and have been featured in international exhibitions in Hong Kong and Singapore since she first moved to Asia in 2012.
One of her latest exhibitions, “A window on Vietnam,” featured artwork on Vietnam’s windows in Ho Chi Minh City in November last year.
Apart from Bridget’s wide range of artwork, visitors to March Gallery can also find work by the Dutch contemporary artist Marjon Barton and by the internationally renowned Japanese lacquer artist Saeko Ando.
A painting by Bridget March featuring the March Gallery in Hoi An
Artwork displayed inside March Gallery in Hoi An. Photo: Rehahn
Artwork displayed inside March Gallery in Hoi An. Photo by courtesy of Bridget March
A painting by Bridget March featuring the location of March Gallery in Hoi An