Culture Culture

18/09/2018 - 07:58

Uncle Ho’s portrait painting: lively and realistic

With respect and gratefulness, an exhibition of President Ho Chi Minh is organized at Ho Chi Minh Museum (August 30 to November 20), portraying the Leader to the public in a lively and realistic way.

 “Uncle Ho’s Smile” won the first prize

Three months since its launch, the art competition "President Ho Chi Minh by Hue artists" organized by the Department of Culture and Sports, Fine Arts Association and College of Arts - Hue University attracted many artists in Hue, among whom were experienced ones who had met Uncle Ho and have spent their whole lives painting pictures of him and young student artists at university. 48 out of 52 works have been selected to be displayed. The works portray Uncle Ho from different angles, but they are all full of love for him.

The second prize went to “President Ho Chi Minh through Moments”

With different genres such as sculpture, painting, graphic design, etc., and various materials such as lacquer, oil paint, acrylic, truc chi (bamboo paper), silk, modern and strange materials such as steel wire, zinc nails, etc., the artists not only portray Ho Chi Minh himself, but also the places, monuments and memorials related to him in Thua Thien-Hue. The works are made in a variety of styles: realistic, semi-realistic, symbolic, metaphorical, etc., but they all depict Ho Chi Minh as a noble and humane Leader with ideals and aspiration for an independent nation.

According to Mr. Cao Chi Hai, Vice Director of the Department of Culture and Sports, the theme about President Ho Chi Minh is difficult in that artists must avoid repetition and stereotypes. Moreover, the subject of the Leader is always politically sensitive. Artists are not allowed to make mistakes. The painters and sculptors in Thua Thien-Hue have overcome those difficulties to create and achieve remarkable results. All the works are good in quality, deep in content, rich and vivid in meaning and creative in form, showing new and humane views of Ho Chi Minh. Many young artists did participate in the competition and won high prizes.

Third-prized “Vong Nguyet” (“Expecting the Moon”) by Le Ngoc Thai

Many artists are very confident in the way they express themselves and employ materials to create something new when accessing the image of President Ho, such as Tran Huu Nhat's artistic and exquisite depiction in detail, Hoang Thanh Phong’s boldly symbolic style, and Vo Quang Phat’s use of materials and techniques, etc.

“The awarded works are equally good in quality. They are really outstanding in aesthetics and expression. They depict clearly and with emotion the image of President Ho Chi Minh. I am impressed with the young artists’ works with breakthroughs, full of love for a historical figure; and are manifested in modern styles, which all can arouse the highest emotion in the viewer,” commented Nguyen Thien Duc, Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue Fine Arts Association.

The painting that won the first prize “Uncle Ho’s Smile" by Tran Huu Nhat depicts in detail Uncle Ho’s gentle smile in modest charcoal. The painting is impressive in that it is very realistic, and the painter did not intend to show off with certain modern layouts. “For artists, Uncle Ho is a beautiful portrait, revealing the spirit of a great man from his face, his eyes, and his smile. I did not intend to depict a complete portrait, but just focused on Uncle Ho’s smile, which looks very beautiful, modest and good-natured, in black and white in remembrance of him,” said Tran Huu Nhat.

Vo Quang Phat’s second-prized painting “President Ho Chi Minh through Moments” records the moments during Uncle Ho's revolutionary life from a young man to the day he went away. The artist meticulously collected portraits of Uncle Ho in different historical periods, then combined them into a large portrait to tell the story of his life through pictures. With modern technology, the work has a good visual impression in the language of graphic design.

For artists in Hue, painting President Ho Chi Minh is to show not only their respect to their beloved Leader of the nation but also their responsibility to preserve and promote the values of the legacy he left for Thua Thien-Hue while at the same time follow the example of Ho Chi Minh in terms of morality, ideology and style.

Story and photos: TRANG HIEN