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Painting simple things beautifully a challenge

Painting simple things beautifully a challenge

Monday, August 21, 2023, 19:52 GMT+7
Painting simple things beautifully a challenge
'Vùng biển xanh' (Blue Sea) by artist Hong Quan

More than 50 watercolor paintings by artist Hong Quan were exhibited in Ho Chi Minh City this month. Looking at the paintings, visitors could feel like they have been transported back to their own hometowns, as the artworks depict everyday life in all three regions of Vietnam.

The event at Hawaii Art Space at 5A/2 Tran Phu Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City is the fourth exhibition of watercolors by Hong Quan.

The paintings were on display for art-loving visitors until August 15.

The artist’s three previous exhibitions were titled Sông nước miền Tây (Mekong Delta Rivers) in 2019, Những gì yêu thương nhất (The Most Affectionate) in 2022, and Ngày nắng (Sunny Days) in 2023.

Gentle and delicate works of art

Hong Quan's paintings give an impression of peaceful, friendly, and very affectionate things.

He depicts universal and simple matters in nature, society, and people's lives. 

The familiar and nostalgic feelings that the watercolors evoke in visitors seem to free them from their everyday worries and to return them to their hometowns for a while.

Nhà và ghe trên sông Hậu (Houses and boats on the Hau River) by artist Hong Quan

'Nhà và ghe trên sông Hậu' (Houses and Boats on the Hau River) by artist Hong Quan

In the painting Nhà và ghe trên sông Hậu (Houses and Boats on the Hau River), visitors see familiar images of the Mekong Delta region.

In Vùng biển xanh (Blue Sea), they see fishermen chatting after returning from fishing trips.

They can also enjoy the scenery of fresh green nature in Mùa mận chín (The Season of Ripe Plums) and Ngày nắng đẹp (Beautiful Sunny Day). 

In addition, the artist displayed a painting recalling the terrible days of the COVID-19 pandemic, but from a positive point of view in Nhà thuốc thời COVID-19 (The Pharmacy in the COVID-19 Pandemic). 

Indeed, it is a challenge to draw simple things beautifully.

As an artist who was formally trained to draw with oil paints, Hong Quan took advantage of his strong ability in descriptive geometry when he switched to painting with watercolors.

Thanks to this strength, he can express his feelings and emotions in a delicate way.

An old saying goes that you learn more about an artist by looking at his paintings.

Hong Quan's paintings immerse visitors in an endearing, affordable, friendly, and generous world, all considered a popular view of people in the southern part of Vietnam.

A very realistic description of life, Hong Quan’s paintings are full of positive energy, without negative feelings, as is often the case with other artists on such subjects.

Bucking the trend to find simple beauty

Nguyen Trung Tin, vice-president of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association in charge of the southern region, said Hong Quan has brought visitors back to the values of the old days through his own view of the simple beauty of life against the backdrop of new movements in painting.

Artist Hong Quan stands in front of his watercolors at the exhibition. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre

Artist Hong Quan stands in front of his watercolors at the exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre

It is his own style of art, which can be seen as a decision against popular trends, which captured the attention of visitors through the way he expresses his thoughts and souls via a simple but thorough painting approach.

“I especially admire artist Hong Quan for his diligence, concentration, and meticulous skill. He has traveled to so many places and led a life of interesting change,” Tin said on the opening day of the exhibition.

“His watercolors are like a travel blog in which he records his impressions and emotions during his visits to different places in the country."

Tin believed that although Hong Quan uses watercolors as his painting material, he does not paint quickly or hastily.

On the contrary, he paints slowly and carefully, with each stroke and layer of color, just as he used to do with oil paintings.

Perhaps this will allow Hong Quan to establish a different style in Ho Chi Minh City, where watercolor painting has mushroomed in recent years.

A visitor looks at a painting in Hong Quan’s exhibition. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre

A visitor looks at a painting at Hong Quan’s exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre

The new Hawaii Art Space exhibition center was opened in the hope of becoming a meeting place for artists and art collectors in Vietnam.

“We are trying to help young and new artists to show their artworks to the public," said Minh Tram, a representative of Hawaii Art Space.

"In the future, we hope the center will become a haunt of culture and creative enthusiasts, especially the younger generation.”

Ngày nắng lên (Sunny day) by artist Hong Quan

'Ngày nắng lên' (Sunny Day) by artist Hong Quan

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Vy Dung - Kim Thoa / Tuoi Tre News


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