Saturday , July 13 2024

Masterpieces displayed in Đà Nẵng City


Girl Wearing A Bodice, watercolour and gouache on silk, by Nguyễn Tường Lân (1906-46).

ĐÀ NẴNG – Masterpieces by the professors and alumni of L’École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine (Indochina Fine Arts College) are on display at an exhibition in the central city of Đà Nẵng. 

The Essence of a Pearl exhibition features 35 artworks with themes revolving around Vietnamese women and landscapes. The works were transported from Hà Nội to Đà Nẵng making it the first occasion for the local art lovers to see directly the masterpieces.


Hair washing, silkscreen, based on the 1940s woodcut by Trần Văn Cẩn (1910-94).

“I’m happy to see young people including children coming to the exhibition,” said Lê Hoàng Nam Phương of Phù Sa Art Foundation, one of the exhibition organisers. 

“They even return the exhibition to enjoy the works. I hope that the exhibition will help viewers to know more about the lives and careers of the artists.”

The exhibition also aims to celebrate the college’s centennial anniversary.


A lacquer painting by Alix Aymé (1894-1989)

The college (1924-1945) was the premise of Vietnamese modern art and the precursor to the Việt Nam University of Fine Arts. It was founded by the first principal Victor Tardieu and his colleague, artist Nguyễn Nam Sơn. 

It started admissions with the first class in 1925. The curriculum developed over the years, expanding from oil to sculpture and lacquer, and from fine arts to architecture and decorative arts.

Besides Tardieu, the college also included permanent staff like Joseph Inguimberty, Alix Aymé, and Évariste Jonchère, who succeeded Tardieu as principal upon his passing in 1937. In 1945, upon the Japanese coup d’état, the college closed down.


A painting by Nguyễn Nam Sơn (1890-1973)

Although the college adopted the western academic syllabus, its faculty and cohorts managed to localise their approaches by introducing traditional Vietnamese mediums like lacquer, silk and woodblock, depicting philosophies and subjects inspired by the local culture and people, hence creating a unique blend of East and West in the movement coined Indochine art.

During its 20 years of existence, Indochina Fine Arts College launched numerous artist-pioneers like Lê Phổ, Mai Trung Thứ, Nguyễn Phan Chánh, Nguyễn Gia Trí, Trần Văn Cẩn, Tô Ngọc Vân and Nguyễn Tường Lân.

An oil-on canvas painting by Joseph Inguimberty (1896-1971)

The artworks are arranged into five main parts at the exhibition. The first four parts introduce groups of professors and students based on the main faculties and mediums taught at the college.

Design includes Nguyễn Nam Sơn, Tô Ngọc Vân and Lương Xuân Nhị; oil has Joseph Inguimberty and Trịnh Hữu Ngọc; lacquer includes Alix Aymé and Phạm Hậu; and various others such as woodblock and silk feature Trần Văn Cẩn, Nguyễn Tường Lân, Tôn Thất Đào and Hoàng Tích Chù.

An oil-on canvas by Jean Volang (1921-2005)

The last part at the centre of the exhibition consists of professors and alumni who had migrated to France and continued to practise there in silk, oil and sculpture, including Lê Phổ, Vũ Cao Đàm and Jean Volang.

The exhibition is free of charge and runs until January 7 at Madame Lan Restaurant, 4 Bạch Đằng, Thạch Thang, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng. Please register at: – VNS






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