Tran Quoc Pagoda lacquer painting by artist Nguyen Quoc Huy (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA)
- An exhibition of lacquer paintings by Nguyen Quoc Huy recently opened in Hanoi, with works featuring natural beauty and the artist’s imagination about a fairy land.

The exhibition is displaying 29 large size son mai paintings.

Entitled Mien Co Tich (Fairy Land), it is Huy’s second solo exhibition, including 29 artworks created from 2006-18, with original techniques.

Huy has researched lacquer for the past 10 years and used eggshells, seashells, gold and silver to depict the fragile beauty of nature.

"No artists before me have used lacquer materials to paint mist which is water suspended in air and unshaped," said artist Huy. "I want to try lacquer material’s weak point, which is weight, to picture light things. The research took me 10 years."

Chua Tran Quoc (Tran Quoc Pagoda) is the largest painting at the exhibition at 160cm by 242cm. It was made from 2007-10 from the artist’s memories of Tran Quoc Pagoda in the 1990s with its many banana trees.

Chua Tran Quoc was made with more than 100 grams of gold, which Huy inlaid six layers into the painting to portray the beauty of each banana leaf. It was the first time Huy had created such a large lacquer painting.

Visitors can see Huy’s skill to feature the ethereal beauty of mist and clouds in paintings Dong Ve (Winter Comes), May Dai Ngan (Thousands of Cloud) and Xuan Nhat (Light Spring).

"When I look at the lacquer painting by artist Huy, I am lost in the fairy land," said Park Hyejin, director of the Republic of Korean Cultural Centre in Hanoi. "The artist depicts Vietnamese rural natural scenes with realistic style. Universes in Huy’s paintings have soul and they are attractive amazingly."

Teaching lacquer painting at the Vietnam Academy of Fine Arts, Huy has built a reputation of elaboration and sophistication.

Huy has gained many achievements both domestically and internationally.

He has won awards including the first prize at the National Fine Arts Exhibition from 1995-2005; the second prize at the ASEAN Fine Arts Exhibition 2002 in Indonesia and the Second Prize at the 7th ASEAN Phillip Morris Art Awards in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2003.

He has exhibited in Germany, France, Britain and Italy. The Fairy Land exhibition will run until November 17 at 49 Nguyen Du street, Hanoi.-VNS/VNA