Culture Culture

23/02/2018 - 16:42

Owing the sea

Of artists in Hue, Nguyen Anh Duong stands out as a young one with a passion for creativity. Though exploring various themes, he most impresses people with the series of paintings of the sea.

Nguyen Anh Duong the painter

Beside the easel

Born in 1980 into a family with no artists, Nguyen Anh Duong was fortunate to inherit the love of painting from his father, who has a special passion for painting. When he was in the 6th form, he went to the drawing class at Children's House in Quang Binh and has been attached to painting since. When he was in the 10th form, he went to Hue to attend College of Arts at Hue University. After graduation, he became a lecturer at the Department of Art Education, College of Arts.

Duong is always on the move, painting. He travels to cherish his emotion and paints to express himself. Whenever getting stuck with ideas, Duong picks up the easel, immerses himself in nature to renew himself. Duong paints almost every day. His small house looks smaller when a painting comes into being. 

"When I was a student, as a habit, I set the objective that every day I would draw a painting, even though it was just a watercolor sketch. After a day full of work, at night, I return to myself beside the easel," said Duong.

More than 20 years of living and studying in Hue, it is the attachment with this poetic land that gives Duong inspiration. To Duong, painting is not only inspiration, but serious work as well. He usually focuses on one theme for a year until exhaustion then moves to another. For some themes, there are up to dozens of paintings.

The faces of no worry in Zen, the watercolor paintings of Da Lat or the beautiful series of silk paintings of girls with flowers are painted in soft, clear-cut strokes, realistic but surreal. 

On last winter days, Duong painted many pictures of the winter in Hue called "Color of time". Hue in winter is chilly. Royal tombs, mossy walls look even more ancient in his paintings. The nostalgia can be seen through paintings of Minh Mang Tomb, the rain, the river, the ao dai (Vietnamese traditional clothes), etc. They are painted like real, which moves Hue lovers.

"20 years living here, Hue is like my second hometown. The lovely scenery of Hue is my endless source of inspiration. I have just found some new techniques with oil paint which can create the roughness of old mossy stone."


Touching the ocean

In the art career of the young artist Nguyen Anh Duong, the biggest collection is of the ocean. "I do not know when I began to attach myself to the sea. Maybe because of my name Duong (meaning the sea), and I have grown up along with the waves of Nhat Le Sea.

Over time, the ocean and the painter become one through his brush strokes. During the time in Thailand where he studied for his master's degree, whenever he felt homesick, he painted the ocean. To Duong, the sea always brings great things. Even while he feels angry or depressed, his paintings of the sea are still full of hope.

"Gift of the sea" is the painting of a piece of coral floating in the green space and a silvery net. With a slightly abstract and surrealistic style and smooth but clear-cut brush strokes, Duong wants to touch deeply into the sea to identify the sacred motherland.

Green Rain

His paintings of the ocean have brought him many art prizes. "Gift of the Sea" won C Award of the National Committee of the Union of Literature and Art associations in 2014, or "Waves" won the annual award of Thua Thien-Hue Fine Arts Association in 2016.

In his art journey, Duong has tried a variety of styles, but he impresses the viewer with abstract, surrealistic paintings, mainly in cold colors; blue is his main color shade. To Duong, art entertains people and himself. He thinks simply that he pains to satisfy his passion and to bring the beauty to everyone.

Story, photos: Trang Hien