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Dien Bien Phu battle artwork to go on display in Hanoi

Dien Bien Phu battle artwork to go on display in Hanoi To celebrate the 68th anniversary of the nation's greatest victory, the battle of Dien Bien Phu (May 7, 1954), a large-scale oil on canvas painting by Mai Duy Minh will go on display at an exhibition in Hanoi from May 7.

The painting “Dien Bien Phu” is 190x490cm and is the result of ten years of tireless work by Minh, which began with a brainstorming process and finished with the completion of the project at the end of 2021.

This is one of the exhibition’s two feature paintings. The second, named “General Vo Nguyen Giap”, has a scale of 89x89cm and was completed over four years from 2017 to 2021.

As a person who was born and raised in peace, Minh's trips to Dien Bien to meet with veterans and read documents relating to the nine-year-long resistance war were his way of searching for ideas and inspirations to complete the artwork.

“It took me a decade to create these two paintings because I didn't want them to be just an illustration of an event or depicting a sublime moment,” Minh said.

The painting "Dien Bien Phu" has undergone many transformations. Through each transformation, ideas were sharpened and more condensed both in terms of composition, perspective, colour and characters.

“Likewise with the painting of "General Vo Nguyen Giap". The answer is also to express my artistic opinion,” he added.

The exhibition also displays 86 of Minh’s sketches made in pencil, ballpoint pens, iron pens and oil in different sizes, showing the artist's long journey.

Mai Duy Minh was born in 1976, in Hai Phong. He previously had two solo exhibitions: “Bui doi” (Dust of Life) in 2006 at Goethe-Institut and “To Hop Khong Gian” (Space Complex) in 2002 at the Atena gallery, as well as several group exhibitions.

In 2010, he received an award from the Vietnam Fine Arts Association.

The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was a fight between the French Union's colonial Far East Expeditionary Corps and Viet Minh communist revolutionaries, in which the victory belonged to the Vietnamese side. The win was a vital part of the war against the French colonials.

The "Dien Bien Phu" exhibition will take place from May 7 to May 20, at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts./