The traditional Vietnamese art of silk painting has become famous around the world for its simple poetic themes and vibrant colors. The success of a silk painting depends on the quality of the silk, as well as many other factors from the quality of cocoons to the decisive techniques of starching and weaving.
Overview of Vietnam silk painting
Unlike other kinds of paintings, the silk canvas are usually not painted. The Vietnamese traditional silk painting style tends to use the silk canvas directly as the background of the painting. The colors are used delicately with the canvas to make Vietnamese silk paintings. The delicate white color found in the sky, water, or human portrait, is the color of silk. The color of silk is well known to describe human figure in the paintings of many famous Vietnamese artists. Delicate color and silk background give the paintings such an harmony with the nature. Whatever style they follow, silk painters must have an intimate knowledge of the material and fully exploit its shininess and its attractiveness. Painting silk is full of changing and unexpected characteristics, and a wrong stroke of the brush is irreversible.
These paintings are made by the Vietnamese artists in Hue, central of Vietnam (110km from North of Danang) These paintings are about the beauty of Hue, the most splendid royal capital of Vietnam, and of other famous provinces of Vietnam. This is an interesting collection that reflects the beauty of Vietnam via various landscapes and Vietnamese daily activities. The bamboo scroll silk paintings are made in the north of Vietnam. The oriental bamboo scrolls are perfect frames for the paintings.
The Vietnamese soul through the silk painting.
In the Vietnam History Museum, there are a few silk paintings of portraits of famous Vietnamese people such as Nguyen Trai, Phung Khac Khoan which is dated back the 15th, 16th centuries used for worshipping purposes. That shows that the silk paiting has a long history in Vietnam and plays an important role in Vietnam’s arts.
Throughout a long time established and developed in Vietnam, the silk painting gained its peak of techniques and styles during the 30s of the 20th century. It was time the artists from the Indochina Fine Arts College combined the influence of Western arts with oriental aesthetics to create unique silk paintings. The most famous artist in this period is painter Nguyen Phan Chanh who is the author of many famous silk paintings such as “rice washing”, “count and capture”, “fortune seeing”, and “going to the field”. Many of his paintings depict the beauty of Vietnamese girls, and the landscape of rural Vietnam. That are the valuable paintings that have gained applause from the experts in both inside and outside of Vietnam. Nguyen Phan Chanh was considered the leading person who discovered how to wash silk, which created a uniqueness and modern style for his Vietnamese silk paintings. The style of Nguyen Phan Chanh is very unique, he began to paint with light colors and used several layers to create the beauty behind a silk painting. By using contemporary colors, Vietnamese silk paintings are mysteriously beautiful due to their softness, elegance and a flexibility of style. Besides Nguyen Phan Chanh, there are a lot of young painters who have a passion with this type of traditional art form, most of them are eager to explore and learn to find the new methods and materials to produce the beautiful and unique silk paintings.
Silk paintings shows the delicate and skillful hands of Vietnamese people and contributes a part to promote Vietnamese arts to the world as they are comparable with other silk paintings power houses including China and Japan. The contents of silk paintings depict people’s daily lives, portraits and also history, the struggles, production, objects and landscapes. Beside the silk paintings in traditional styles, many artists have also used new materials such as gold leaf, silver and tempera to create the unique and creative products. Silk paintings have been displayed in several exhibitions inside and outside the country since 2006 that recieved the appreciation of experts and audiences. These exhibitions showed that the art of silk painting has been preserved and promoted as an important part of the Vietnamese arts scene. Thanks to the immediate care of people, the stream of Vietnamese silk painting is flowing among the the contemporary breathe of the nation’s arts.
As creation flourishes, modern art continues to expand in Vietnam, the impact of such through institutional support of the arts reverberated throughout Vietnam’s art world and, more broadly, for art enthusiasts everywhere. The Vietnam silk painting is a valuable treasure that reflects the intelligence and talent of Vietnamese people. If you need a Vietnam silk painting as a gift before ending your Vietnam trip, let’s come to us via Vietnam travel blog. Thank you!