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Vietnam Culture & People

Veteran artist couple exhibit together

Veteran artist couple exhibit together

In real life and on canvas they compliment each other, capturing the imagination with contrasting styles

One dabbles in "hotly" coloured daily life while the other remembers war and soldiers in grey and black.

But in real life and on canvas, they complement each other.

Pop art: Veteran artist Dang Thi Duong is interested in portraying landscapes, girls, flowers and animals, which capture people’s dreams and passions.

Viewers are bound to find engrossing the works on display at a joint exhibition by a couple of veteran artists from the Viet Nam Fine Arts Association that has opened in HCM City.

The painters, Dang Thi Duong and her husband, Phan Oanh, work on canvas, acrylic and sketches.

While Duong worked as a teacher at the HCM City University of Fine Arts, Oanh, a former soldier, was the director of the Southwest Region’s Armed Forces Museum.

After several years of living and working in HCM City, the couple decided to work together on a joint exhibition titled Dau Cham va Duong Thang (Point and Line).

The show has more than 200 works of different materials, many of them on canvas and do paper (a kind of traditional handmade paper). Although their paintings deal with different topics, the couple say they are united in wanting to express their love and memories of life and people through their art.

"Through my work, I hope viewers will be able to see and feel their life and love accompanied by memories of the past, making them think about how they should live in the present and the future," said Oanh, who spent more than 40 years in the battlefield.

Born in 1949 in Hai Phong but living in HCM City, Oanh joined the army during the American War to portray images of soldiers.

He had had several personal and selected group exhibitions in France, South Korea and Japan "but only in Viet Nam did I find myself meeting with viewers", Oanh said, adding that this time he was very eagerly awaiting the response of art lovers in HCM City.

The highlights of his works include Rung Sac (The Sac Forest) and Phong Tuyen Vi Xuyen (Vi Xuyen Defence Line), both sketches that capture the courage of soldiers. "I find an unlimited source of inspiration in soldiers," the 60-year old artist said. "My works convey my soul, imagination and memories of my time in war." Unlike her husband, Duong is more interested in portraying landscapes, girls, flowers and animals.

For her, these simple things capture people’s dreams and passions.

The artist is unrestrained in her expressions. Her works exude a child-like love and enthusiasm for people and life.

"I always see life and art with fresh eyes," Duong said.

Duong said she shared with her husband the deepest thoughts and love for their homeland, Viet Nam.

"Through [our] paintings, we hope visitors can also share their memories with us," she said

She believes in art as a unifying force, bringing people together.

A master graduate in fine arts from the HCM City Fine Arts’ University, she’s held several solo and group exhibitions in Viet Nam and abroad.

Duong believes that the art brings people together.

The exhibition will remain open until November 15 at the Fine Arts Museum, 97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1, HCM City.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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