In love with Vietnam

Vietnam through the eyes of David Evans

David Evans is an American painter. He paints Vietnam from stories of historical figures or myths and legends. 

David Evans was born in 1990. He studied history and has a master's degree in education from Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He came to Vietnam hoping to find his own path and to explore the cultural beauty.

During his early days in Hanoi, David Evans taught history in international schools and then worked as an editor for Vietnamese newspapers. The jobs helped him understand more about Hanoi and Vietnamese history. “I was immediately taken by the history of Vietnam, especially during the war to liberate the South in 1975. From the perspective of a history teacher, I researched this historic US-Vietnam war thoroughly to better understand Vietnam,” David said.

After coming to Vietnam, he also studied Vietnamese historical figures and their associated legends such as, the Legend of Lac Long Quan and Au Co, poet Ho Xuan Huong or great poet Nguyen Du. From stories, these characters have entered his paintings. His latest exhibition called Scroll (Cuon) displayed at Tach Space, Hanoi is a collection of mythical paintings by David Evans to showcase a story extending from the past to the present. 


David Evans in December 2021. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

 

David Evans completes an artwork. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP


David Evans wishes to convey Vietnamese historical stories through paintings to domestic and foreign friends. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

 

The exhibition 'Scroll' by David Evans at NGA Art Space. Photo: Do Quang Cuong


A unique artwork with warm color by David Evans. Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP

Visitors at the exhibition 'Scroll' by David Evans: Photo: Thanh Giang/VNP


Photographer Do Quang Cuong, an associate of David’s in Vietnam commented, “David Evans paintings are drawn using an abstract style. Even though he is visually disadvantaged with short-sightedness, he still paints with great energy.”

David's philosophy is “I don't want to paint the ocean; I want to paint the spirit of the ocean”. This philosophy has fueled his work and motivated him to paint over 100 paintings in the past two years living and working in Hanoi.

The main theme in David's paintings is always historical stories associated with Vietnamese and world literature. Literature and painting are inseparable and parallel in each of his paintings. The history of Vietnamese literature provides invaluable material for David to put into his work. Everything and every scene he sees in Hanoi or the countryside of Vietnam all carry meaning that have the potential for him to translate into art.


Artworks by David Evans:












Vietnam is a country with a treasure trove of interesting myths. According to David, reading Vietnamese books is like experiencing living in those myths. “I believe that my greatest achievement in Vietnam is the exhibition 'Scroll' at NGA Art Space. This is a two-year project that tells of a visual epic in which words themselves are the protagonists. Viewers find themselves in a world of words visualizing an epic about Vietnam. That is the legend of Mother Au Co and Lac Long Quan, of descendants of the Dragon and the Fairy”.

David Evans wishes to convey Vietnamese historical stories through paintings to domestic and foreign friends, to introduce them to a developing and dynamic Vietnam. He also plans to publish a book on Vietnamese history. That's how he expresses his endearing love for Vietnam.

Story: Bich Van Photos: Thanh Giang & Do Quang Cuong Translated by Hong Hanh


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