Vietnam Fine Arts – Overview
The development of Vietnamese fine arts is closely linked to Vietnamese culture and history – a culture based on rice farming, village traditions and other social values, all under the auspices of Confucianism. . Like Vietnamese history, Vietnamese fine art has experienced many ups and downs, going through periods of peace and wars that have ruled the country for the past two millennia.
Along with Dong Son Culture, where bronze and other metals were used, Vietnamese handicrafts also have similar patterns. The millennium of Chinese domination from 111 BC to AD 938 has left little trace of a once prosperous art scene. It was not until the end of the 10th century, with the enthronement of Le Dai Hanh, that Vietnam’s fine arts were partially restored.
The Ly – Tran – Ho dynasties from the 11th century to the early 15th century was the golden era of Vietnamese fine art. Buddhist-influenced architecture such as the One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi, with a dragon and phoenix border is typical of this period. Folk paintings also flourish and shine because farmers can make a surplus in peacetime and have more time to create. The peak of this art lasted only 400 years, before the nations were once again divided and torn by political unrest.
One Pillar Pagoda in Hanoi – a typical architectural work of the Ly Dynasty with Buddhist influences
During the French colonial period, Vietnamese fine arts observed a number of large configurations. Although artists did not completely escape the influence of feudalism to express themselves in their work, they did seek new directions and reflect contemporary capitalist society. New art forms were born, many of which are still the pride of Vietnamese people to this day, such as lacquer painting.
Indochine College of Fine Arts, today known as Vietnam Academy of Fine Arts (42 Yet Kieu, Hanoi) has trained many talented artists for Vietnamese contemporary art. Famous names such as Tran Van Can, Bui Xuan Phai, To Ngoc Van have marked a new era in the history of Vietnamese art: embedding in it the simplicity of the country and culture, mixed with historical usage. Use elegant Western colors.
In both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you can visit the Fine Arts Museum and dig deeper into the history of Vietnamese fine art.