Nguyen Gia Tri, a distinguished artist, has revolutionized the world of oil paintings with her exceptional talent and impeccable craftsmanship. Her unique artistic style, characterized by the use of lacquer paint, has earned her the title of “the father of modern Vietnamese lacquer paintings.” Let’s delve into the captivating world of Nguyen Gia Tri and explore her remarkable contributions to the art scene.
The Fusion of Engraving and Lacquer: A National Treasure
Nguyen Gia Tri’s artistic brilliance lies in her ability to blend engraving techniques with the vibrant medium of lacquer. The result is a collection of oil paintings that exude a distinct national character. Her works, which are now showcased in prominent art museums like the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts and the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts, portray graceful young women amidst breathtaking natural landscapes. The use of lacquer elevates these paintings to new heights, adding splendor and an air of mystery.
Unveiling the Magical Ability of Lacquer
Nguyen Gia Tri’s ingenuity shines through her masterful use of various materials such as charcoal paint, lipstick, gold, silver, eggshell, and cockroach wing paint. These unconventional elements bring forth a splendid beauty in lacquer paintings, defying expectations. Even the renowned painter To Ngoc Van was moved to tears upon witnessing Nguyen Gia Tri’s artwork. To Ngoc Van proclaimed, “Every pale pink, every delicious brown, every delicate eggshell transforms the entire piece into a precious masterpiece.” According to To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Gia Tri’s lacquer paintings transcend traditional fine art, reaching the realm of higher art.
Admiration and Prestige
Nguyen Gia Tri’s paintings have garnered admiration from art enthusiasts worldwide, particularly among the French. Many of her works adorn the walls of luxury villas, creating an enchanting and romantic ambiance. Foreign billionaires and dignitaries eagerly seek the opportunity to commission Nguyen Gia Tri for large-format paintings, placing no constraints on her artistic expression. Such is the reputation of her paintings that they are considered more valuable than any other possession due to their unparalleled quality and exclusivity.
Preserving National Treasures
In accordance with Nguyen Gia Tri’s final wish, three large-format lacquer paintings, namely “Nostalgia for the North,” “Abstract,” and “Dancing under the Moon,” are proudly displayed at the National Library in Ho Chi Minh City. These treasured works, created between 1968 and 1969, serve as testaments to Nguyen Gia Tri’s artistic legacy. Recognized as national treasures, these paintings are prohibited from leaving Vietnam.
Honors and Awards
In 2012, Nguyen Gia Tri was posthumously awarded the prestigious Ho Chi Minh Prize for Literature and Art. This esteemed accolade acknowledged her outstanding contributions to the world of art. Five of her remarkable lacquer works, including “South Central and North Central Spring Garden,” “Girls by the Flowers,” “By the Pond of Lotuses Garden,” and “Village Scene,” were specifically recognized for their artistic brilliance.
Unveiling the Masterpieces
Let’s take a moment to appreciate some of Nguyen Gia Tri’s exquisite works:
In The Garden (In the Garden), 121.5x171cm. Auctioned for SGD 134,200 (~VND 2.2 billion) at the Larasati house in Singapore in July 2015.
Central South North Spring Garden
The Girl Next to the Witch Hazel
By the Lotus Pond, 120x240cm
Girls in the Garden, 1957. 100 x 64 cm
Girls of Sword Lake
New Year Festival
Capturing Moments in History
Wrapping up our exploration of Nguyen Gia Tri’s artistic journey, it is worth mentioning that her captivating works have secured a place in the hearts of art enthusiasts across the globe. As we appreciate the beauty and intricacy of her lacquer paintings, we are reminded of the incredible talent and vision that Nguyen Gia Tri possessed. Her legacy continues to inspire and captivate, making her a true icon in the world of art.
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