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Mar 22, 2022 / 16:11

Exhibition “The Oriental Tale” showcases excellent Vietnamese and Japanese interaction

The talented Vietnamese painter leads viewers into the ‘peaceful realm’ in his lacquer paintings.

An art exhibition titled “The Oriental Tale” by Trieu Khac Tien will be on display from March 25 to April 24 at the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam (No 27 Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi).  

The banner of “The Oriental Tale” exhibition. Photo courtesy of Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam 

According to the organizers, the exhibition is the first great ‘interference’ between Vietnamese and Japanese lacquer art.

“The Oriental Tale” offers a glimpse into the delicate and special techniques of lacquer painting of both countries and provides a deeper understanding of how these two cultures of lacquer art are influenced by each other and integrated into one beautiful work.

“We believe that the lacquer works of this exhibition will attract many people and convey a positive energy, with the artist’s great passion and creative spirit to connect both valuable characteristics,” they stated.

In Vietnam, lacquer is considered as ‘a young craft’ that only started in the 1930s under the influence of the “L’ Ecole des Beaux Art” in Hanoi, founded by French artists. The lacquer painting was developed in Vietnam as a freestanding form, separate from the decoration of wooden objects. However, the lacquer technique is ancient and goes back 8000 years in China and Persia.

A wonderful lacquer painting by painter Trieu Khac Tien

Meanwhile, according to experts, Japan is the place where the art of lacquer reached its peak.

Cherished for its infinite versatility, Japanese lacquer or urushi is a distinctive art form that has spread across all facets of Japanese culture from the tea ceremony to modern abstract sculpture.

Japanese artists created their own style and perfected the art of decorated lacquerware during the 8th century. Similar to Vietnamese lacquer, the varnish used in Japanese lacquer is made from the sap of the urushi tree, also known as the lacquer tree or the Japanese varnish tree (Rhus vernacifera), while the Vietnamese use the resin of the son ta or Rhus succedanea tree.

The skills and techniques of Japanese lacquer have been passed down through the generations for many centuries. In contrast, the lacquer coating technique in Vietnam is taught at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts.

The exhibition “The Oriental Tale” marks a new success in the career of Trieu Khac Tien, a painter and also a lecturer at Vietnam University of Fine Arts. The artist skillfully combined ancient Japanese lacquer techniques with Vietnamese rough materials to create unique and timeless artworks.

The artist skillfully combined ancient Japanese lacquer techniques with Vietnamese rough materials to create unique and timeless artworks.

Tien’s lacquer works also represent the artist’s effort to communicate with and reflect his creative views on the heritage values that have accumulated through national history.

The interaction that unites the ancient material and contemporary art is like a journey that connects the flow of inspiration, from glorious historical strata of the past to the novel mindset of today’s contemporary artists.  

The exhibition is open to the public with free admission. However, in light of the current coronavirus developments, the exhibitor urged their visitor to wear a facemask, check body temperature and use the hand sanitizer provided at the door. Also, only 20 people are allowed at a time for each visit.