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German artists over the moon during rice harvests

During the harvest, the moon over Viet Nam changes its appearance constantly, which has become a source of inspiration for husband-wife artist duo Christiane Campioni and Tobias Kuester Campioni.

German artists over the moon during rice harvests
German artists over the moon during rice harvests

In heat of the day, and in the midst of the dust and fires emanating from the rice harvest, the air keeps moving, causing the moon to look different.

The artist duo have organised an exhibition entitled, Harvest Moon, focused on Viet Nam, the country, where they both got to know each over a decade ago.

The exhibition showcases large-format works portraying the beauty of the moon over Viet Nam, which has been reduced to a circle as a basic element and visually claimed in a square made of lacquer on metal and wood. The utilisation of metal–as a symbol for the western origin of the artists–is a new artistic method that also involves traditional Vietnamese techniques.

“The circle and square are basic geometrical elements that signify movement and peace,” said Tobias.

“We have stayed in Viet Nam and travelled across the country. We found the sight of the moon during the harvest season so beautiful. Besides the moon, we also created some small-sized lacquer paintings featuring Vietnamese people, landscape and culture.”

Christiane was born in 1976 in Erfurt. After graduating with a degree in the preservation and restoration of art and cultural assets in Dresden, she studied in Ha Noi and acquired the craft of traditional Vietnamese lacquer painting. She has also published a guide to becoming a restorer.

Tobias was born in 1976. He received the 2005 prize for architecture at the Technical University Dresden because of his entry’s outstanding contribution to urban development. Since 2014, he has worked as a guest lecturer for interior architecture at the Ha Noi Architectural University in Viet Nam.

Charmed by Vietnamese lacquer, the couple have tried to master and renovate it in a very special way that is unique and the only such method used in the world for lacquer art.

In 2009, Christiane’s practical interest in the technique of lacquer painting was re-awakened.

Her husband was working as an architect at the time and encountered a small company in Uzbekistan that applies a metal powder mixed with a bonding agent to wall surfaces, which after drying is ground and polished.

Tobias combined this with traditional Vietnamese lacquer painting techniques. Metals, such as zinc, copper, iron, brass, bronze or steel, are utilised to develop paintings combining different metals with inlays of eggshell, mother of pearl, bamboo or wood veneer.

The artists will discuss their technique during an art talk on March 19.

The couple intends to stay in Viet Nam for a long time and develop such fine arts and architectural projects using their own technique.

The exhibition will run until March 22 at the Goethe Institute, Ha Noi, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street.