Exhibition takes visitors on journey to the past hinh anh 1Painter Chu Manh Chan (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - The memories of the people, landscapes and cultural heritage of the former province of Son Tay, now in the west of greater Hanoi will be revived via works by 90-year-old painter Chu Manh Chan on display at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.

Entitled Mien Ky Uc (Land of Memories), the exhibition features 30 works, most of which are lacquer and water colour paintings like Ca Tru (Ceremonial Singing), Chua Tay Phuong (Tay Phuong Pagoda) and Cong Lang (Village Gate).

The exhibition also includes the 4m x 2.5m lacquer painting entitled Hoi Chua Thay (Thay Pagoda Festival) that vividly portrays the atmosphere of the biggest festival in ancient Doai Village with pilgrims and traditional games in the background of a charming mountainous area.

A collector reportedly offered 5 billion VND (217,000 USD) for the painting but Chan refused to sell it.

Speaking at his first solo exhibition, Chan said his paintings were inspired by his memories of his hometown from adolescence to adulthood and until now.

“They are the sentiment, profound spiritual morality and the life force nourishing my soul, and also the desire to continue the tradition of my family and homeland.

“I want to retain all that sentiment. Now I understand that traditions and human affection must always be respected and preserved. That’s why I’m constantly trying to manifest what the elderly have told me into paintings, which has given me more affection for my homeland, more strength and more passion to forget ageing and hardships. I have retained my childhood memories that will never fade," the painter said.

According to poet and painter Nguyen Quang Thieu, Chan is one of the revivers of forgotten Vietnamese cultural beauty.

“The paintings portraying the past, demonstrated by means of traditional lacquer techniques, have empowered Chan to revive ancient beauty in modern life,” he said.

Chan was born in 1933 in Chang Son village, Thach That district on the outskirts of Hanoi. He used to work as a lecturer at the Ha Tay School of Fine Arts, specialising in creating models in mosaic, lacquer, bamboo and rattan for artisans in craft villages.

In 2020, Chan was honoured with the title of 'People's Artist' for his contribution to traditional crafts.

Besides designing and teaching applied art, Chan is also a lacquer painter. He has painted many works about his hometown showcasing its charming poetic scenery and traditional festivals.

The exhibition is open until the end of April 3./.