Culture Culture

23/04/2020 - 08:07

Nguyen Van Tho and the artworks about the mother

The women in sculptor Nguyen Van Tho’s works are not physically beautiful, but ordinarily simple, austere and old. They are hard-working and family-oriented mothers.

The Sculptor Nguyen Van Tho with engrossing creativity

At the annual exhibition held by the Fine Arts Association in 2019, Nguyen Van Tho’s composite sculpture work “Storm” was highly valued in terms of fine art language, layout and material. Depicting the artist’s own mother, his work has brought a special feeling about a hard-working mother.

After years of hard work and children-rearing, the mother has had curve back and tiring legs. Her austerity is clearly shown through each wrinkle on the face. Her life is also closely connected with the image of a hurricane lamp, which signifies the storms of life that she has experienced and overcome, and which is also a light for the children’s life.

Giving the audience a good impression, the work was valued as the best work in 2019 by the Union of Arts and Literature Associations.

Nguyen Van Tho had many works about the images of the women apart from The Storm. The women in his works are not physically beautiful, but ordinarily simple, austere and old. They are hard-working and family-oriented mothers.

On this theme, Nguyen Van Tho always pays special attention to describing the deep eyes, the winkled face, blue-veined hands and high cheekbone. In a bust named Cong (‘curve’), the image of the woman displayed in the semi-abstract style is full of emotion with hard sweat and sad tear. In the work Coi (‘betel box’), the mother is more relaxed, enjoying betel chewing after the hard work.

The work “The Storm”

According to the sculptor, the woman image has always brought him deep feelings. This is because his mother always loved, protected and lived for him from childhood to adulthood.

His memory of the hard childhood is tied with the hard time that his mother ran about to earn the living and bring up the children. Thus, it is understandable that the woman in his works is always hard-working. It is the message about his mother he would like to convey.

Mainly expressed in the realistic style, Nguyen Van Tho’s works show his concerns about the real life and human activities, such as human conditions, livelihood, environment and living. Expressing the sculpture beauty in all aspects of contents, layouts and techniques, his works have brought aesthetic feelings to the audience, helping them acquire the message that he conveys directly.

Deeply expressive, some of Nguyen Van Tho’s works have touched the audience for their humane spirit. The image of a disabled child due to the exposure to dioxin in the work “Loss” or a child carrying a bread basket to earn a living in “Burden” makes the audience heartbroken at the very real images of life.

Nguyen Van Tho started his sculpture career in a casual way. After leaving high school, he registered for the examination to medical university to succeed his father’s career. But while he was preparing for the exam, he happened to see a beautiful work by a student of the Department of Sculpture.

The sculpture work seemed to awake his passion for and talent in fine art that he owned since childhood, and he decided to sit for the entrance exam for the Department of Sculpture, the University of Fine Arts, Hue University. After graduation, he was retained to work as a lecturer in the same department.

For nearly 20 years working in the field of sculpture, Nguyen Van Tho has managed to find his own way. In addition to familiar materials such as wood, stone and composite, he has experimented other materials, forms and techniques of sculpture. He has just completed his research in using recycled materials in sculpture.

With passion, enthusiasm and desire to devote valuable works of art, Nguyen Van Tho has worked untiringly. In addition to sculpture, he also creates monumental works and decorates reliefs for organizations and agencies.

He is now sculpting Uncle Ho’s busts for the border posts in A Luoi. “As sculpture is difficult, it requires artists the patience in addition to experience and skills to pursue their career. Only when they work with all the heart and concentration, can they create excellent works. If an artist has talent, he can certainly live on his career. There is a shortage of human sources for sculpture, so all graduates can find jobs. The social need is high, but the number of students who want to follow the field is limited,” said Nguyen Van Tho.

Story and photos: Trang Hien