The Author, constantly trolling for the new and unique, has taken a shine to contemporary and traditional Vietnamese art. Vietnam has a long and storied history of producing master artists. The first Asian country to embrace Western styles of fine art, Vietnam was for decades a French colony and the Gallic affection for beauty and art mashed-up nicely with the refined artistic sensibilities and traditions of this Southeast Asian culture. (Image: Nguyen Thanh Binh)
Though contemporary fine art started appearing in Vietnam at the turn of the last century, the founding of the Indochina School of fine arts in the 1940's really produced generations of trained new artists - while preserving the artistic traditions of the culture.
Vietnamese art has evolved through several periods: There was an early classical and landscape period; followed by "worker's art" during the Socialist era; partition and war provided its own backdrop and themes for another generation of artists; which was followed by a post-war return to more varied themes and experimentation. Vietnam's post-war Policy of Openess has created a flourshing art scene. Always known for their unique fired-lacquer paintings, Vietnamese artists also use canvas, wood and silk for a variety of oil and watercolor images. (image: Viet Hoang Nguyen) Since contemporary Vietnamese artists appearing in galleries in Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) are experimenting with a variety of styles and techniques, one can find a broad spectrum of work available for sale. And it is selling fast all over the world.
According to an 07 article in Singapore's Straits Times, Mr. Mok Kim Chuan, Sotheby's Specialist in charge of South-east Asian paintings in Singapore says that "...allowing for huge variations depending on artists, styles, media and sizes, many contemporary Vietnamese art pieces fetch between US $5,000 and US $12,0000. Artists of note include: Hoang Hai Anh, Tan Viet Phu, Doan Hoang Lam and Siagon's Kimkhim Katy. The Author has uncovered some excellent web sites and Vietnamese galleries for you to peruse. Be f0rewarned that there is a very high-quality and organized unauthorized art reproduction market in all of Asia, so to ensure you purchase genuine goods you must undertake due diligence and insist on verify-able provenance. You know what I mean. That said, check out this and this and this and this gallery. The Author hopes you enjoy this journey through contemporary Vietnamese art as much as he did.
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