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Exhibition displays rare colour in lacquer paintings

Traditional lacquer paintings are on display at an exhibition entitled Lam (Deep Blue) in Hanoi.

The exhibition showcases 50 lacquer paintings by 25 artists who use traditional lacquer techniques.

The paintings depict the beauty of life, culture, people’s portraits and abstract images.

This is the fourth exhibition in recognition of the fifth anniversary of the group Vietnamese Traditional Lacquer Artists.
Besides displaying the latest artworks by the painters, the exhibition also focuses on a highly challenging requirement for expressionism.

All of the artworks are coloured with shades of blue, the most difficult colour in traditional lacquer which is rarely used nowadays.

The popular palette of lacquer paintings includes vermilion (red pigment refined from minerals that have a mercury sulfide base), black and brown refined from sap of sumacs and some other materials such as silver leaves and gold leaves, eggshells, pearl and seashells.

In the 1930s and 1940s, painters from the Fine Arts College of Indochina experienced and succeeded in appropriating traditional techniques of lacquer work to make unique pieces.

Members of the Vietnamese Traditional Lacquer Artists mainly use traditional lacquer, which aims to keep and develop lacquer work of our ancestors and masters who initiated the unique value of Vietnamese lacquer paintings, according to artist Can Manh Tuong.

The group consists of many artists of different ages who have built their excellent reputation through lacquer paintings.

Although many painters are still young, they have a passion for researching and creating to contribute new values to the great achievement of Vietnamese fine art.

“We want to bring new experiences in expressive techniques and new effects of eyesight in the nuances of blue with full optimism and hopefulness,” he said. 

The exhibition will run until October 10 at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts, 42 Yet Kieu street, Hanoi. Visitors can enjoy the visual exhibition until January 10 next year, through Indochine Art, online artwork trading website at