15/11/2015 12:34 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Chóe!... Caricatures

A collection featuring 37 oil paintings by Nguyen Hai Chi, more popularly known as Choe, painted during the last days of his life while hampered by vision loss were displayed for the first time at an exhibition entitled “Nho Choe”  (in Commemoration of Choe) in Ho Chi Minh City. These  paintings were recently showcased in Paris, France. 
Choe is one of the pennames of painter Nguyen Hai Chi. Choe means ‘mouse squeak’, expressing the irritation that his lampooning  provoked in his critics. The artist has been hailed the number one Vietnamese satirical painter of all time despite the fact that he had never attended any art schools or classes. He discovered the art with only his great passion and creativeness  and learned by himself.

Late painter Nguyen Hai Chi (1943 – 2003), more popularly known as Choe. Photo: File

The exhibition entitled “Nho Choe”  (in Commemoration of Choe) held in Ho Chi Minh City.
Choe is famous for paintings in oils, on silk and poonah paper. His highly acclaimed works have been exhibited around the globe including the US, Sweden, Japan and France. For him, this artistic genre shows irony and reflects the colours of a joyful life and positive visions of people like him. In the 90s, Choe’s caricatures were printed in many domestic newspapers.

The exhibition showed a series of his oil paintings, including “Ca và Chim” (Fish and Bird), “Thap Eiffel” (The Eiffel Tower), “To chim” (Bird’s Nest), “Mat na” (Masks), “Troi buoc” (Binding), “Rung thua” (Glade) which were created with different illustrations and implications, triggering the viewers’ imagination.

The first paintings that the painter drew were about his relatives and most of his works focused on wives, children and Vietnamese women. These subjects can be seen in his photo set, “Women of My Country” which consists of ten paintings created for the Asian Cartoon Exhibition held in Japan in 1995.  These oil paintings were created on poonah paper with iron pen and watercolour, revealing the soul of a wife and mother who always takes care of her husband and children. The suffering and misery of women are also hid in some stunning pieces, like “Hanh tinh va thung rac” (The Planet and the Dustbin), “Chong con” (Husband and Children) and “Xich lo” (Cyclo) that leave viewers wondering.

The exhibition was held in commemoration of the late painter showing some of his works  publicly for the first time.

Some works of Choe:




“Prohibitory sign”

“Sit on the spike board”


“Arc de Triomphe”

“Masks ”

“Notre-Dame de Paris”

“The Eiffel Tower”

“Bird’s Net”

“Football fans”


And other works...

Story: Son Nghia - Photos: Le Minh