Taking a cue from dreams, the rhythm of life, voyages and people from unheard of lands a group of Vietnamese artists were inspired to bring their creations to India – exhibiting now in Kolkata.
For some of the artists who were innocuous enough to admit their lack of proficiency in English, an exhibition of this kind was really heart warming and rare. Around 20 contemporary artists from Vietnam have travelled across the seas to a city that has long been an ally for rhyme and reason – Kolkata.
Organised in collaboration with the Alliance française du Bengale and the Embassy of the Republic of Vietnam in India, the exhibition of paintings, sculptures and photographs were inaugurated on Jan 9 at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) auditorium. “Last year, it was a book fair that commemorated the relationship between India and Vietnam and this year, we have this exhibition in Kolkata,” said Stéphane AMALIR, Director of Alliance française du Bengale. “So, the idea was to showcase contemporary art from Vietnam; there are 5 photographers, 20 painters and two sculptors who came with their art,” Stéphane added.
The diversity of the paintings, photographs, and sculptures presented in the auditorium of the ICCR begs the visitors for a keen eye to invest time and mind. Do Thi Hong hanh and An Chuong Lo, a couple based in Hanoi, were there with their unique sculptures. Showing one of them which she called the ‘New Life Rhythm’, Do was explaining how she and her husband spend their time making only these. “While I tried to show how life lost its rhythm and how important it is to keep the balance, my husband works on more traditional arts from Vietnam,” says Do. Lo makes sculptures made of ceramics that showcase traditional scenes from the country, such as locals making fans, umbrellas or celebrating homely festivals.
Another artist from Hanoi, Nguyen Xuan Lan, pursuing art since he was nine-years-old, was one of the seniors among the group of these chirpy, cheerful and enthusiastic group of artists. “This is my second exhibition in India and I love the response from the visitors,” Lan said, in a broken yet expressive English. “I have travelled to England, France, Brazil, Japan and here in India to exhibit what I pursue as an abstract art,” he added. Showing a particular painting which he calls the ‘Echo’ he explained how he uses pure gold and homemade colours to express his mind on the paper.
Paintings and expression of art came from the various topography of Vietnam and blended an exceptional diversity of human emotions. Artists like Tran Do NGhia captured a marketplace from the mountains of North Vietnam and their people whom they call the Red Dzao People. Unless experienced and perceived by your own senses, it is hard to explain the vibrancy of the palette of colours exhibited on the otherwise dull walls of the cultural auditorium in the city centre.
Similarly, it was really the ‘concept of life’ being exhibited in a meticulous painting that was constituted of 800 odd figures that resembled bricks of a wall but otherwise the faces of human beings depicting 800 emotions, done with ink on paper. Artist To Tran Bich Thuy was saying how she conceived one of her other painting that she called the ‘Independent Voyages’. “Human beings are becoming busy every day and I show that with the clumsy outer space and still seeking peace as I would like to depict through the painting,” added Thuy.
The inauguration ceremony was held on Monday, January 9, 2017, at 7 pm, at the ICCR and the exhibition is slated to remain open until Saturday, January 14, 2017.