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29/11/2019 - 16:03

A distinctive style of the pen-nib art

Together with the artist To Tran Bich Thuy, Nguyen Khac Tai (a lecture at the Department of Applied Fine Art, The College of Arts, Hue University) is a young artist who is devoted to creating a distinctive style in the pen-nib art.

The artist Nguyen Khac Tai has his own style in pen-nib art

Nguyen Khac Tai, from Nghe An, had a desire to pursue painting when he was young. He passed the entrance examination to the College of Fine Art, Hue University and studied there. In the third year, he chose to specialize in Graphics for an irrelevant reason that very few students chose this. From experience, Tai started to take to printing techniques in graphics, especially pen-nib graphics. This is a green pasture for him to explore.

Tai’s pen-nib drawings still have attractions only with the two basic colors, black and white. He said: “While other colors create a special attraction, black and white play the basic role in the beauty of graphic drawings. Black and white can be either color or non-color. Its simple beauty is the depth, which makes a distinctive nuance in visual art and conveys the underlying message of the artist. Viewers can feel the distance, the shading, the shape and emotion through black and white.”

The Harvest Time

Nguyen Khac Tai creates works on a variety of theme, including the natural beauty and customs and habits in North-West area with the images of market and young girls in traditional costumes reflected through his works, such as The flowers of the high-altitude, The aspiration, The pace of life in mountainous market and Down to the market.

In the work The Harvest Time Nguyen Khac Tai depicted the bustling atmosphere of the harvest time with the North-Westerners’ performances of singing and dancing. Full loads of rice heaped up on horseback, bunches of rice piled on the van, the dancing young boys and girls and the singing birds, … make up a harvest time concert.

With typical black and white of the pen-nib art, the drawing shows his emotion as well as the technical meticulousness, which enables the viewers to feel the bustle of the North-Western mountains.

The Golden Age

Tai also exploited the theme of the landmarks and monuments of Hue for his drawings. In the work The Relics, the artist used the method of conventional description to show the beauty of the war-ruined ancient monuments. The old arches, the patchy walls and the tilted tile roofs in the evening symbolized the glorious past that has been over.

By means of pen-nib and poonah paper, the glorious relics were displayed by carefully organizing dark–light interleaving patches into a rhythmic layout.

With the pen-nib art, Nguyen Khac Tai always innovates his works in his own style. He not only draws with black-and-white pen-nib, but also combines pen-nib with watercolor to make the picture lively. At first, he liked to draw black on white with stylized images, blocks, patterns and squeezed pictures.

Later, he changed to realistic drawings with colors. In the work The Golden Age about Minh Mang Tomb, for example, the black symbolized the ancient past, the red of the gate highlighted the picture, provoking a remembrance of the glorious Nguyen Dynasty.

Nguyen Khac Tai said that pen-nib drawings did not have strengths in colors so the artist had to pay more attention to the shape, the layout and the light-dark contrast of the black and white.

To have beautiful drawings, he has been very prudent in presenting the graceful appearance and the facial expression. On the one hand, he used realistic space; on the other hand, he used the conventional space reconciled with shapes, blocks and patches to give an impression of outspread and movement.

In pen-nib art, a beautiful picture is created out of small pen-nib patches, so it requires the artist to be patient and meticulous. The picture depends very much on the initial outline, and there is no way for a revision.

For a lively picture, Tai often applies different techniques in pen-nib, including the heaviness, the ratio and the brightness of patches, creating the movement in the work.

Nguyen Khac Tai also has canvas, acrylics and watercolor paintings. In these genres, Tai often has on-site paintings of Hue scenery with rivers, boats, floating huts and still life. Apart from teaching, he spends most of his time drawing and painting. Saving all his heart and soul for arts, Nguyen Khac Tai has created his own style in his works, most of which are collected for gallery.

By Minh Hien

 

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