Vietnamese sculpture is joining the flow of regional and international fine art. The trend has been reflected at the on-going fifth National Sculpture Exhibition in Hanoi.

Organised every decade, the present exhibition which runs until January 5 at the Hanoi Museum is the biggest in its 50-year history. Nearly 700 artworks by 352 artists were submitted to the judges, and 286 works were selected for display.

According to Head of the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Vi Kien Thanh the latest exhibition is a great development compared to exhibition 10 years ago.

"The large number of artists and artworks who entered the event showed stronger creativity," Thanh said. "In addition, most competitors are aged between 30 and 35, and their vitality shows.

"Many of the artworks reflect the influence of the international contemporary fine-arts scene. It can be said, Vietnamese sculpture has taken a long step in the international integration process."

However, Thanh and other members of the judging panel board could not find any artwork that satisfied all their requirements for first prize.

"It should be the one that presents the trend of regional and international fine arts, at the same time it must display its Vietnam origins," Thanh said.

The 20-million VND (nearly 1,000 USD) second prizes were given to the "Lop vo" (The Cover) by Tran Van An and the "Chuyen que" (Village Story) by Ku Kao Khai.

Four third prizes were given to the "Tuoi tho" (Childhood) by Ha Manh Chien, "Doi mat" (The Eyes) by Nguyen Van Huy, "Khoang trong" (Empty Space) by Huynh Thanh Phu, and "Lat cat" (Slice) by Phan Van Tien.

Artworks by 15 other artists also were awarded Encouragement Prizes.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vuong Duy Bien said: "The National Sculpture Exhibition showcase the creativeness and development of Vietnamese sculpture.

"Many of the sculptures on display are inspired by modern social issues," he added.

The artists used a wide range of materials in their works, including wood, plastic, stainless steel, glass, composite, bronze, and even water pipes.

Among hundreds of visitors was John Niclsen, the Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, who said the exhibition was worth seeing.

"I was fascinated by many impressive and beautiful creations," a local visitor said.

A workshop was held together with the exhibition. It was attended by several famous sculptors, art critics, and cultural authorities.

Tpoic discussed at the workshop including The Relation Between Sculpture and Other Art Forms in Vietnam, Vietnamese Sculpture in Regional and International Integration, Sculpture and City Landscape in Vietnam.-VNA