Culture Culture

03/12/2021 - 08:05

Capturing bucolic landscape

Falling in love with the peaceful and rustic look of the countryside, Phan Vu Tuan, a young painter, always spends his time traveling on countryside roads to paint. The familiar scenery in his watercolors reveals his thoughtful love for his homeland.

Phan Vu Tuan in a painting trip

In the essay collection “Beside the O Lau River" by journalist Phi Tan, published by Le Chi Culture & Communication Co., Ltd (Chibooks) and Lao Dong Publishing House, paintings by Phan Vu Tuan are chosen to be printed on the cover and on the postcards as a bonus for readers. Peaceful villages, calm rivers, and poetic streets of Hue are depicted in Vu Tuan's paintings in an innocent and rustic manner, which urges me to meet the young artist.

Born in Ha Tinh, Phan Vu Tuan attended Faculty of Painting, College of Arts, Hue University. The poetic landscape and the peaceful ancient beauty of the former imperial capital made him settle down in Hue after graduation. Since then, many landscape paintings portraying the beauty of temples, royal mausoleums, pagodas, villages, etc., have been born. 

His series of paintings about streets, historical monuments, and beauty spots are filled with soft and misty colors of the atmosphere in Hue and the nostalgia about architecture, nature, and old quarters. They all look ancient but delicate.

Streets and historical monuments in many of his paintings are not only beautiful in themselves, but also realistic, loaded with his own thoughtful stories about the past, the present, and the future. 

Through his series of landscape paintings, we can see that nature and the countryside are always his appealing themes. Everywhere he goes, he stops to paint the countryside, villages, and beauty spots with all his heart. 

He always wants to capture the beauty as well as the atmosphere and the typical weather accompanied with his personal feelings. Paddy fields, buffaloes, chickens, banana trees, bamboo hedges, etc. appear in his paintings in a simple and rustic manner, evoking his memories about the Vietnamese countryside. 

Tuan often travels to suburbs and immerses himself in the countryside scenery which exerted a deep impression on him as a child. With this theme, he often chooses to paint directly so that he can keep his real emotion intact. 

For Vu Tuan, direct painting is a way to release himself from pressures and a joy of wandering here and there with colors and canvas chasing space and time. The countryside, villages, nostalgic mosses and all the four seasons, both sunny and rainy,  are all recorded in his paintings. They are not only paintings, but also the diary about his exploring journeys and places he has set foot in. 

In the painting "Afternoon Behind Trees,” Vu Tuan presents rustic scenery with grazing cows in the misty autumn afternoon. Behind the trees are the distant fields and the mountain ranges on a backlit background. Dominated by the green color, the painting leads the viewer across the fields enjoying the bucolic fragrance of paddy, grass, plants as well as peacefulness. 

His series of paintings named "Suburbs” are familiar scenes which can be found everywhere such as houses, bamboo hedges, strawstacks, chickens, ducks, glimmering sunlight on the roof, ancient walls, etc. The viewer can feel the good smell of weeds in the immense fields full of memories. 

“In my landscape paintings, beauty sometimes lies in the most normal and familiar things. I was born in the countryside. Villages, rivers, paddy fields are therefore my main themes and endless inspiration. They are my peaceful world where I look for relief and I store my feelings and memories. Through my paintings, I also want to bring viewers peacefulness, relaxation, and positive spirit. Those who come from the countryside will find their childhood memories in them,” confided Tuan.

By Minh Hien