Paintings of Hanoi and its people by three Thai artists are on display in Hanoi to celebrate 35 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Thailand .

The exhibition includes pencil and charcoal portraits of Hanoians by Dinhin Rakpong Asoke, water-colour paintings of daily life by Direk Kingnok and large crayon paintings by Suwit Jaipom. The theme is Hanoi in Spring.

Suwit, 44, is fond of large panoramic landscapes in his cubist style so as to transform figures and shapes multidirectionally.

His use of crayon has enabled him to create several layers of contrast and perspective.

"Using this technique with thin paper is not so easy since it requires much concentration and patience to draw the small detail between big blocks," Suwit said.

Dinhin, 52, says he expresses his personal sentiment through his portraits.

Direk, 35, uses large paper. He discovers the beauty of Hanoi through the flickering light of a night market or the antiquity of old temples and the Old Quarter.

Local artist Phuong Vu Manh, who is noted for body paintings, joins the exhibition to express friendship with the Thai artists. He displays two oils on canvas created on a trip to the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) in spring 14 years ago.

Manh is also preparing for an exhibition in June with Thai painters in Bangkok to celebrate the relationship between two countries.

All the paintings displayed at the Hanoi exhibition belong to Tira Vanichtheeranont's collection. Tira has lived in Vietnam for 20 years where he has collected many Vietnamese paintings.

He has co-operated with the Viet Art Centre to open the exhibition to show the Thai artists' love for the capital after a journey there in spring.

At the opening ceremony on May 3, Suwit and Dinhin drew 10-minute portraits in charcoal and crayon for visitors.

The exhibition will run until May 9 at Viet Art Centre, 42 Yet Kieu street , Hanoi. /.