Painter Vu Giang Huong: being a painter is happiness

Painter Vu Giang Huong has recently made debut a book entitled her name. The book which introduces 44 gouache paintings, 31 oil paintings, 8 woodprints and 43 silk paintings, records the tireless art life of painting of this female painter.

Born into a family of art with father, writer Vu Ngoc Phan and mother, poet Hang Phuong, Vu Giang Huong has absorbed the cultural treasure of her family. Her cause has been developed during nine years of resistance war in Viet Bac (the Northernmost Vietnam base) when she learnt the art from masters Nguyen Si Ngoc, To Ngoc Van, Tran Van Can and Nguyen Tien Chung.

Vu Giang Huong first learnt the art from master To Ngoc Van in 1955 – 1956, then continued studying at the Fine Arts College, first intake, and later became lecturer of the Vietnam Fine Arts College (now named Hanoi Fine Arts University).

Paintings of Vu Giang Huong during the war time are still bright. It seems that the difficulties of the country’s economy and the danger of bombs and fires are pushed back, just the beauty of landscapes are highlighted.

Vu Giang Huong likes both black and white woodprints and Dong Ho folk woodprints. Her typical woodprints are Thay Pagoda created in 1957 and Night Ferry created in 1965.

Meanwhile, most of her oil paintings have been not created until after 1990s.

Vu Giang Huong specialises in silk paintings. She has been working o­n this genre of painting for the past 50 years. She pays attention to every detail of the painting. This can be seen clearly in her painting ‘Co-operative Fishing’ in 1960. She likes to use neutral colours like light yellow, blue and brown without contrast colours in her paintings, even in paintings depicting the war.

In Vu Giang Huong’s paintings, the image of people normally come between trees and flowers. People’s activities are depicted in the space of sea, forest and garden.

Particularly, she reserves a speicial concern for children. She paints them everywhere corners. Through each painting, her own story seems to return to her. Now at the age of 75, she is still the president of the Union of Vietnam Literature and Art Associations and still painting. For her, being a painter is happiness.

Nhan Dan