Culture Culture

26/09/2018 - 07:47

Life in Nguyen Dang Son’s colors

The fascinating and unexpected effects which sometimes are even beyond the intention of the artist – this has drawn artist Nguyen Dang Son to the lacquer painting career.

The studio in the small neighborhood of Huong Ho ward (Huong Tra) is full of paintings by Nguyen Dang Son (born in 1978), both finished and unfinished ones. “Lacquer painting is a Vietnamese traditional style of painting and it is quite famous in the world. When I was studying painting, I was fascinated with lacquer and was mesmerized by it. The attractiveness of lacquer techniques lies in the watercolor, coloring, and grinding to create surprising effects full of seductions beyond the author's intentions,” Son said. Lacquer painting is an arduous process. Each time, Son’s hands would get blisters, but he still loves it.

Artist Nguyen Dang Son

Not overcomplicated and obscure, Son's paintings have clear lines, full of nostalgia about mother and childhood memories. His work is a long chain of childhood memories of difficult days in the poor countryside, innocent and sweet with the days spent catching fish in the river.

“Over the years, through the ups and downs of life, I have kept and treasured forever my childhood memories - the most beautiful time of my life. Such a delightful childhood in hard times like that is hard to find in this modern age,” said the artist.  Thus, images of folk games, fish traps, fish, houses along the lagoon, and riverside are often found in Son’s pieces.

The image of the mother is portrayed full of emotions. Son’s mother passed away when he was just about to graduate. Because of his unforgettable longing for his mother, most of the pieces he painted at the beginning of his career are memories of his mother, his childhood days spent with his mother, and the sacred and endearing love she gave to him.

Remembering the warm feeling of living in the loving arms of his mother, the image of the mother in Nguyen Dang Son’s paintings always appears with full of sacrificing, embracing and protecting the child. The painting of a child growing up on his mother's bamboo carrying frame which he painted when he was still in school, still makes him feel moved each time he sees it. The image of a mother embracing two children in the heart in the painting "Mother’s love" which he painted in the cubism style also expresses this theme.

 “Mother’s love”

Son paints with his emotions. His paintings often reflect the everyday life of Hue people with images of the early market, of the fishing village and lights from the windows by the riverside at night along with the boat full of memories. Therefore, his paintings, though light and simple, are always rich in sounds and colors of life. It seems that in his work, he expresses love, reminiscence and torments in the dark colors rich with nostalgia. “To me, art is close to everyday life. I rarely draw anything too distant and abstract. My paintings are rustic, reflecting the reality of life truthfully so as to evoke emotions in the viewers," Nguyen Dang Son shared.

Nguyen Dang Son has participated in many art exhibitions and has been awarded many awards by Fine Arts Association, Union of Arts and Cultural Associations. In 2013, his piece "The dock" which is reminiscent of the image of a boat area in the Perfume River of his childhood, won the Ancient Capital Arts and Culture type C Award. Recently, the work “Nostalgia” depicting the beauty of Hue royal court music won the North Central Regions Exhibition’s Encouragement Award.

Nguyen Dang Son’s nostalgic painting of childhood

With art, he devotes his love and his special passion. He has been able to earn his living with this profession with the lovely souvenir paintings of flowers, girls, childhood, and etc. Son’s paintings have been sold to tourists in Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hanoi…

By Trang Hien