The recognition of Vietnamese art in the history of the world is relatively new, rather it’s better to say that Vietnamese art has emerged from the abyss of darkness and come to face the light of the world! It cannot be claimed that the inception of Vietnamese art is a very recent event in world history. But one important reason for its late recognition lies in the conception of most art patrons who considered Vietnamese art as a mere replica of Indian and Chinese paintings. It’s of course, undeniable that both these civilizations imposed tremendous impact on Vietnamese culture and tradition, but Vietnamese art has been highly successful in evolving itself as an independent art form, with a distinctness of its own. In fact, the greatness of Vietnamese art lies in the fact that it has been able to absorb the impressions of a variety of civilizations and cultures into its own cultural fabric.Today, Vietnamese art has a distinct and honorable identity of its own. Not just that, this art culture is being widely appreciated worldwide and has been in huge demand by numerous foreign art lovers. Countries like Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland, the USA, Argentina have held exhibitions in recent times which bear witness to the immense appreciation that Vietnamese art has received in recent times. Contemporary Vietnamese art possesses a life-like quality and an amazing diversity that has wooed art patrons worldwide. The younger generation of Vietnamese artists is motivated to reaffirm the Vietnamese culture in their works of art. Their paintings have become more self-explanatory and can be said to convey the vision of the artist. Modern Vietnamese paintings portray a unique combination of the artists’ vision and international trends. Contemporary Vietnamese artists do not believe in replicating the masterpieces of their masters. Rather, they are intent on giving new dimensions to this genre.Among the new breed of Vietnamese artists, the Gang of Five (comprising of the Hanoi painters Hong Viet Dung, Ha Tri Hieu, Dang Xuan Hoa, Tran Luong and Pham Quang Vinh) has succeeded to gain international acclaim through their innovative works of art. Upcoming artists like Tran Trong Vu, Hoang Hong Cam, Nguyen Than, Bui Minh Dung, and Le Quang Ha have breathed in a new lease of life to the erstwhile impressionistic tradition of art. The colorful vibrance of such works of art by Nguyen Trung, Do Hoang Tuong, Tran Van Thao speaks volumes of their abstractionist tradition. The iconoclast Truong Tan turns a corner from his staunch orthodoxy by producing his most unconventional works unraveling his gay convictions. Nguyen Bao Toan, Nguyen Minh Thanh in Hanoi and Le Thua Tien in Hue are among the first “engaged” installation artists to produce in Vietnam. Mention should also be made of Vu Dan Tan, the Sorcerer who turns castoffs into art works; the minimalist Le Thiet Cuong; the unclassifiable Dinh Y Nhi, with her hallucinatory black-and-white paintings, and the instinctive Vu Thang, with his compelling use of mixed media in lacquer painting.In fact, Vietnamese art has received a tremendous boost on account of this wonderfully talented new generation of artists. No two contemporary artists are alike, neither in their themes nor in their imageries. This versatility has lent contemporary Vietnamese art an added dimension, which is destined to leave an indelible mark on the annals of world history.
“My country is young and doesn’t have a history, how can I get inspiration?” is a question asked often.Firstly, your country is really only young in its current form. All countries have a past, just not the traditional history that many European countries have.If your country is a young country only colonised in a few hundred years, far from that being a disadvantage use it to your advantage. It gives you a unique perspective that is not readily available to people living in countries with a more traditional past.Your country may have had a native peoples living there. Tap into their myths and legends, superstitions and culture to produce something unique.Use your landscapes in a similar manner.Background Research Books Books hold so much knowledge, and ideas for inspiration that can be used as stepping stones as ideas for your own art and fiction. Immerse yourself in fantasy fiction, art and traditional history of all types. Learn as much as possible.Other artworks Obviously, you cannot just copy other peoples works as that is copyright theft, but there is nothing stopping you looking at peoples work for inspiration to see how they put it together, how they use lighting, posture etc. Or how did the author build their world, what are the rules within it etc.Location “Again, without the history and legends how do I create a traditional fantasy landscape?”You don’t. You can, but why do that when you can use the world around you to create something unique? The US in particular lends itself to this with its vast unique and diverse landscapes. Elves would fit into the Redwood forests. Imagine the unusual Castles that would be in places like the Arches National Park for instance. Or perhaps your world doesn’t even have the traditional trappings of fantasy?Research your background information thoroughly so you know what works, and then use that as a guide to make it up.”I don’t have a castle?”What is important in a castle? Location, Defence, weapons, water, position etc is important. The most important thing about a castle or fantasy building in art is they look as though they could stand – are they architecturally sound.Get out there! What does dawn look like rising over the mountains or caressing the desert sands. Can you feel the sand brushing your face, getting into your eyes? Does the desert absorb sound leaving you feeling alone?How do you feel alone in a dark forest? What do you imagine lurks in the darkened waters?Go take a look, there’s no substitute for the experience and beauty of our own world.Naturally, always take all safety measures necessary. You want your fantasy characters to do the bear fights and getting lost in the desert etc. You want to get back safely so the world can share your unique art or story!Use your imagination & InspirationYour greatest tool is your own imagination. Develop and use it. Learn to visualise your world.Different artists and writers will have different ways to gain inspiration. Some will do gardening, others listen to music and others walk. Find out what works for you. Free your mind and welcome images and ideas that ‘intrude’ on your conscious thoughts. Take notes so you will remember them later.ConclusionHave fun!Fantasy is a fantastic genre to be enjoyed and shared by everyone. So what if your elf has round ears or your redwoods have gone purple! Maybe there’s a reason; you decide.
the concept of war has been a dominant theme throughout art and literature. Wars have been a part of the human experience that has been fought with guns and swords, and expressed with symbols and ideas. War and opposition to war have been represented throughout history by using the tools and texts of political science, sociology, history, literature, music, and the visual arts. The Vietnamese society has been no exception to the above.Vietnam has a history as rich and evocative as anywhere on earth. The American War in Vietnam captured the attention of the West, but centuries before that Vietnam was scrapping with the Chinese, the Khmers, the Chams and the Mongols. Vietnamese civilization is as sophisticated as that of its mighty neighbor China, from where it has drawn many of its influences under a thousand year occupation. The Americans were simply the last in a long line of invaders who had come and gone through the centuries and, no matter what was required or how long it took, they too would be vanquished. Although the war has been over a long time, it has left deep scars on the minds of the Vietnamese people. The war artists have captured the historic moments on the canvasses.Artists throughout history have depicted wars and Vietnam War belongs to this tradition. Official war artists, Vietnam veterans, interested observers and opponents of the war created Art from the Vietnam War. It also includes political and social cartoons and posters. The Vietnam War is a significant event of the American experience. Scholars have studied the war and its consequences, and artists of all genres have depicted it in their arts and paintings. Even though the conflict itself lasted from 1961 to 1975, the Vietnam War continues to be the focus of extensive scholarly as well as popular interest.Many artists were actively against the war and used their art to express the horror and human tragedy of war. From the time of the war, some veterans and even their families have expressed their experiences of and feelings about the war in artistic form. The war artists have staunchly opposed the war and depicted its inhumanity through naked, flayed figures against raw linen grounds and scenes of U.S. soldiers attacking Vietnamese civilians. Dinh Q. Lê Chen, Liza Nguyen, Binh Danh, An-My Lê, Johnny Miller and Howard Henry Chen are among the few prominent artists who have been in direct relationship to the Vietnam War. Each artist explores the war recollection through parents, historical accounts from available publication, or even Vietnamese born with childhood experiences. The emotional memory of the war has been affected equally by the loss each one faced because of the physical damage inflicted by the war.The Vietnam War profoundly influenced American Society and most accounts of the period dwell on the war’s domestic ramifications. The war is still a constant reminder to its citizens’ of its pains, through memorials, war cemeteries, bomb craters, flattened ancient ruins, discarded scrap metal, land mines, and hidden traces of dioxin in the soil. These artworks and monuments now form the bulk of the freshly revived tradition of Vietnam art, which is steadily making its presence felt among the art connoisseurs of the world.