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26/07/2018 - 17:23

The love of life through paintings by disabled artists

Overcoming disabilities and difficulties in life, artists with disabilities always worked hard and creatively to aim for amazing artistic beauty. The love of life never ceased to burn deep inside these artists.

Artwork "Hoa huong duong 4” (Sunflower 4) by Le Thi My Binh

A step forward

Recently, four painters Le Thi My Binh (Yen Bai), Nguyen Tan Hien (Da Nang), Le Quang Linh (Ha Tinh) and Pham Dinh Thai (Thua Thien Hue) united in Hue city for the exhibition “New day 2018 " hosted by Song Huong Magazine. The small but cozy and formal space of the gallery drew special attention of the art-loving public, as exhibited artworks were composed by artists with physical limitations in severe hardship.

Le Thi My Binh's works attracted viewers with a multi-layered coloring technique in acrylic paintings, capturing landscape beauty and her happy dreams. Featuring the same theme of landscape, but if the works of painter Nguyen Dinh Thai were a refinement of lacquer technique, those by Nguyen Tan Hien revealed great depth of the countryside’s vastness using water color. Le Quang Linh, on his third trip to Hue for the gallery view, introduced the oil paintings about the moment of seasonal transitions, spring to fall, autumn, and winter.

Phan Hai Bang, a lecturer at the Hue University of Arts, said: "Paintings of artists with disability often arouse a sense of tolerance in viewers, but these artworks clearly reflected painters’ serious study progress in techniques, such as the visual effects of watercolor from Nguyen Tan Hien’s, the contrast in pigments among My Binh's acrylic paintings, or graphic artworks by Pham Dinh Thai. I hardly believe that these fascinating art pieces were created by artists with disability, but in fact, they all surprised us.”

Four artists met at the "New Day 2018" gallery at Song Huong Magazine

Despite disabilities, all four artists were deeply passionate about painting. They found joy in the act of drawing and overcame inferiority to integrate with the community. Viewers could always feel the sense of overwhelming emotion and the love for life in each brush stroke. "These are not just paintings embracing our passion for art, but above all, we deliver messages of our aspirations, faiths, and vitality," said artist Nguyen Tan Hien.

In search of meaning in life from fine arts

Despite hardship in life, they have surpassed everything, bringing to life wonderful paintings by extraordinary vigor. Behind every painting lay a long story about life, the story of overcoming physical disadvantages and of the passion for arts.

Painter Nguyen Tan Hien, born in a poor family, was always dreaming of becoming a teacher when a traffic accident took place on his first-year enrolment to the College of Education in Daklak. He had his spine cracked, his arms and legs paralyzed. In 2008, while being treated at Danang Rehabilitation Center, he started to draw.

Learning to draw was massively challenging to ordinary people, let alone a disabled artist like Nguyen Tan Hien. His only movable finger, the thumb, was initially tied to a brush to practice drawing. There were countless of times he dropped the brush, but he was never discouraged. At first, drawing was just to kill time; gradually, painting became passion and life of Tan Hien, where he could release his inner thoughts and uneasy feelings.

Painting "Pho" (Streets) by Pham Dinh Thai

For Le Thi My Binh on her 6th grade, transverse myelitis left her legs completely paralyzed and prevented her from standing and walking. She turned to painting after completing grade 9 and started to teach herself painting. Since 1998, she has painted for living and taught painting in classes. Her paintings reflect joy, hope, as well as pain.

Binh said: "I love painting landscapes whenever I have the opportunity to go out. For landscape painting, I need to explore beyond my confinement and observe the outer life. But now…, my only wish is to be able to afford a wheelchair for people with disabilities to travel to many places. "

Painting “Giao mua 1” (Seasonal transition) by Le Quang Linh

Despite difficulties in speaking and moving due to the consequences of brain defects, painter Le Quang Linh impressed others with his optimism and cheerfulness. These characteristics were also featured in his paintings. 

Doing arts with great aspirations to deliver his feelings to those in the same shoes, Linh’s utmost simplicity and purity made viewers’ hearts flutter. He has participated in many exhibitions and won several art awards. "Art has raised me up and brought me closer to life. I have been striving for life, to find joy in every day painting," Linh said.

Following well-known paintings made with rice, Pham Dinh Thai explored further with lacquer materials. Thai’s paintings craved a strong impression for the viewers of their rusticity and simplicity, depicting landscape themes such as lotus or the countryside.

Story, photos: Trang Hien

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