Exhibition celebrates Mother Goddesses Worship hinh anh 1UNESCO-recognised Co Bo Thoai Session is the latest work by Long from early 2017 (Photo: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) - An exhibition that opened this week at Hanoi’s Fine Arts Museum depicts lacquer paintings depicting the Vietnamese practices related to belief in the Mother Goddesses of Three Realms, which was recognised a few months ago by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

The 26 works were painted by Artist Tran Tuan Long over nearly 20 years. He tried to exhibit some of them at the National Fine Arts Exhibition in 2000, but the paintings were rejected. "I was a little sad because my work was not recognised. The national exhibition organisers told me that I drew superstitious things," said Long.

However, he was not discouraged from pursuing the theme to which he had been exposed by chance. "One time my foreign friend and I were hanging out and we saw a hau dong (spirit medium) at Vua Ba Temple in my home province of Quang Ninh in the north. It was the first time I encountered the Vietnamese ritual and I became fascinated by it. The bustling sounds, the illusory artistic space in the middle of the night are so strange and so unprecedented that they touched me deeply."

Exhibition celebrates Mother Goddesses Worship hinh anh 2Triptych talent

Long painted his first depiction of the practice in 1998 and his latest early this year. He has attended numerous such rituals in an effort to understand them and the spirit mediums, which he depicts on his canvases in great detail.

"Tens of artworks by Long depict the tranquil, mysterious and at the same time glamourous aura of the practice, embracing the spirit of lacquer in both its classic and modern forms," said veteran lacquer painting artist Ly Truc Son. "His paintings are classic, modern, serious, simple, lovely — all at the same time. I greatly appreciate Long’s labour and his works will no doubt stand the test of time."

Long graduated from the Vietnam Accademy of Fine Arts. He is a member of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association and a group of Vietnamese lacquer artists. Khanh has had solo and group exhibitions in Vietnam and Taiwan; the Republic of Korea and Germany. He has also gained awards such as the Vietnam-ASEAN Fine Arts Prize in 2004 and first prize of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association in 2015.

Exhibition celebrates Mother Goddesses Worship hinh anh 3Tripartite soul

"Mother Goddesses through the unique lacquer paintings by artist Long opens the 21st century genre of Vietnamese rituals painting," art critic Luong Xuan doan wrote in introduction words.

The exhibition will run until March 15 at 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hanoi.-VNA