Culture Culture

02/03/2019 - 09:24

The beauty of motherhood in Nguyen Thi Lan's paintings

Rather than ambitiously concerning themselves with worries and reflections about human existence, the artworks of Nguyen Thi Lan, lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Hue College of Education, center around women’s beauty and motherhood, thus always giving their viewers a sense of relaxation and sedateness.

Artwork “Flowery dream”

Still quite a newcomer to the world of visual arts, painter Nguyen Thi Lan has, however, impressed the public through her works showing women’s beauty and motherhood. Just recently, her lacquer painting entitled “Flowery dream” was nominated the outstanding artwork by the Provincial Union of Literature and Arts Associations for the year 2018.

The painting features a passionate and happy woman in her pregnancy. The techniques, from the art of eggshell inlay to the blending of colors, were applied beautifully, bringing warmness to the artwork and diffusing emotions into its viewers.

Women, with their hidden beauties and capabilities of transformation, holding in themselves many sacred and incredible secrets, such as their ability to give birth or their instinct of being a mother,… are Nguyen Thi Lan’s creative muses. Her paintings mainly focus on portraying women and femininity, the topics that she has been pursuing for quite a long time, ever since she was still unmarried.

As an instinct, Lan has been preoccupied with the motherhood of women, who always long for a happy family. This is depicted in her artworks. Recently, the images of women have been even more clearly and vividly portraited in her works on women’s dreams of becoming a mother and having a simple and happy life.

Painter Nguyen Thi Lan

The female artist confides: “The topics that interest and impress me most are women and their unique vocation. I love their attractive curves. I respect and admire them, - the creators of life and of half of the world. They are self-sacrificing human beings, willing to put themselves down, tolerant yet strong-minded. Women is a topic that I have been exploring ever since I was a newbie to arts till now. And I want to keep following this call, with the female instinct that burning within me”.

With the intention of creating a series of artworks featuring symbolic representations of women, Nguyen Thi Lan wants to highlight the beauty of the most personal imageries which are visualized into symbols. It’s a beauty that, according to her, encompasses pain, happiness, tolerances, peace, uneasiness with one’s self, as well as longing for love and happiness.

 “Through my artworks, I want to voice my perspective of femininity, at the same time to call for sympathy from and build dialogues with the public, especially women, about this topic, creating a foundation for my future development in arts,” emphasizes Lan.

Artwork “Mother Nature”

With her initial impressions about women in combination with symbols of flowers, eggs, uterus, etc., Nguyen Thi Lan was inspired to create a group of artworks about birth giving, passion for living, and desire for reincarnation. “Mother Nature”, the prize winner of the outstanding work in literature and arts in 2015, was a success that she achieved in this topic.

This is a monoprint graphic artwork, created from the collage of 49 smaller pictures. It employed a distinctly female imagery, i.e., the uterus combined with images of flowers and some typical symbols of the female body, in order to honor women’s sacred motherhood, as well as to envision the harmony between humans and nature, serving as powerful reminders on the origin of human, our birthplace, and the origin of species.

Her “Mystery of blooming”, an installation artwork (the winner of incentive prize at the 2011 National Festival of Youth’s Fine Arts) was the one inspired by a blooming flower and the women’s reproductive organ. The blocks were created by a bamboo structure covered with a piece of white cloth, while backlights were used to bring about a mysterious setting and evoke curiosity.

As a graduate of Applied Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, Hue University, Nguyen Thi Lan used to be a designer. However, her true passion is for painting. Since her postgraduate study at Mahasarakham University in Thailand, she has spent a great deal of time on painting.

Without drawing in too much concern about human existence, Nguyen Thi Lan conveys through her artworks a simple and beautiful life. For Lan, painting is a way to find peace, to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.

On her creativity journey, Nguyen Thi Lan is still learning and exploring a variety of materials and genres, from iron pen drawings, lacquer, acrylic, wood carving to installation art. With each, she spends a lot of time on experimentation. “Different materials produce different effects, which always make me surprised and enchanted. On the creativity journey, I am still finding my style and locating my destination”, says Lan.

Written and photos by Trang Hien