05/04/2018 15:05 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

“Life” from fingerprints

Using 10,000 of her friends' fingerprints, artist Vu Bach Lien examines her own life in a solo exhibition entitled “Life” at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum in Hanoi.

“Life”, Vu Bach Lien’s second private exhibition, displays 19 works of art and an installation and performing piece. The artworks are in diverse forms and materials, including monoprints, lithographs, photolithographs and woodcuts.

Vu Bach Lien started her story using fingerprints: “I am the very realm of mine and the very life of mine. The images of the sun and earth expressed in fingerprints contained my own fingerprints which remained intact during sunshine or rain”, Lien explained about her idea of using fingerprints in her art.

Artist Vu Bach Lien next to her original portrait “Them – Part of My Life”. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP 

Visitors are impressed by the artworks in Vu Bach Lien’s exhibition. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

The installation and performing art piece “In the Human Realm” by Vu Bach Lien. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

Lien’s art pieces are observations about humans and the universe, each of which shows a philosophy about life, existence and the withering of substances such as the circle of life and the yin and yang theory.

Her journey to seek beauty through graphic art starts from and toward humans.

Visiting the exhibition, many were impressed with “Them – Part of My Life”, a portrait of Lien created with 10,000 of her friends' fingerprints. Other remarkable pieces were large-sized woodcut paintings Dong Ve (Winter Arrives) and He Sang (Summer Comes) from Lien’s “Four Seasons” project; “Life Stream”, an installation woodcut; and “Revival”, a performing woodcut.

The exhibition also included a performing art piece entitled “In the Human Realm” in which Lien sat in the middle of the stage, surrounded by 1,900 fingerprints she collected from different people for many years.

As a professional artist, Lien used the basic language of expression in the art of printing, which is black and white, combined with one or two supporting colours.

With either simple or complex structures, Lien always pays great attention to every single detail to reflect the final idea of the works.

Speaking about the exhibition, Le Huy Tiep, President of the Graphic Arts Council of the Viet Nam Fine Arts Association, said he believed a woman who has seen Lien’s art would love herself more and be more confident in life while a man would respect the independence and wisdom of women.

Close look of the fingerprints used to create Lien’s original portrait. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 

Vu Bach Lien with her performing piece in the exhibition “Life”. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP 

“Summer comes”, a piece from Vu Bach Lien’s “Four Seasons” project. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 

“Winter arrives”, a woodcut also from the “Four Seasons” project. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP

"Human Realm”, a woodcut inspired from fingerprints. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP

“Snowy Road”, a woodcut (70cm by 70cm) created in 2014. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP

“Time”, another fingerprint artwork, which shows three faces changed by time. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 

“Self Examination”, lithograph monoprint (77cm by 67cm) created in 2010. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP

“Party”, lithograph print (26cm by 33cm) finished in 2012. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP

“Realm”, a woodcut monoprint (75cm by 140cm) created with fingerprints in 2015. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 

“Life”, a piece comprising two woodcuts. Photo: Cong Dat / VNP 

Almost ten years after her first private exhibition, Vu Bach Lien opened “Life” at the Vietnam Fine Art Museum in Hanoi from March 1-6. The exhibition showcased 19 printed artworks and an installation and performing piece.

- The installation and performing art piece “In the Human Realm” was created with some 1,900 fingerprints printed on Korean hanji paper, cloth and mica. It took the artist months to complete this work.
By: Cong Dat - Khanh Long