Making news

Vietnamese paintings attract artwork hunters

Paintings of renowned Vietnamese artists have continually been up for auction at home and aboard recently, attracting artwork hunters from both Vietnam and other countries.

The Hanoi-based Chon Auction House recently held session No. 13, where a collection of sketches of Nguyen Van Binh (1917 – 2004) was introduced. More than 40 works of the painter, who graduated from the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts de l'Indochine (Indochina College of Fine Arts) that operated from 1925 to 1945, went under the hammer.

Paintings of some artists like Linh Chi and Le Huy Hoa, who were students of the Vietnam Fine Art College at the time of the anti-French resistance war, were also auctioned.

The painting Dan day (Vietnamese plucked lute) of Le Huy Hoa, one of the four pillars of the resistance war fine arts course, was sold at 11,000 USD.

Meanwhile, O Quan Chuong (Quan Chuong Gate) of famous painter Bui Xuan Phai fetched 3,900 USD.

Works of some contemporary artists also heated up the session such as Goc cay bo ho (A tree by Sword Lake) of Bui Hung sold at 8,000 USD or Giai dieu mua thu (Autumn melody) of Dinh Quan sold at 12,000 USD.

Up to 62 of the 68 artworks up for auction found their new owners with total value reaching 73,450 USD.

Session No. 14 of the Chon Auction House on June 24 is expected to be another vibrant auction with 82 lots of well-known painters like Tran Van Can, Nguyen Tu Nghiem, Bui Xuan Phai, Trinh Huu Ngoc, Duong Huong Minh, Le Huy Hoa and Nguyen Trong Kiem. It will also mark the return of Mai Long, Le Ba Dang and Tran Huu Chat, among others.

While Hue Xua (Hue Moment in Time) by Tran Van Can has a starting price of 10,000 USD, Hinh Mau Giong (Model of Giong) and Cat Cao Tieng Gay (High Crow) by Nguyen Tu Nghiem have the respective starting prices of 1,600 USD and 2,500 USD.

Ngay Duyen Tay Bac (Romantic in the North West) by Tran Huu Chat, who graduated from the resistance-war fine arts course and passed away just last month, will also be up for auction.

Apart from domestic auction houses, artworks by Vietnamese masters are also highlights at foreign ones.
Piéta, created by famous painter Le Pho in about 1935, will be auctioned at a session on June 25 of France’s Aguttes auction house. It is forecast to fetch 100,000 – 120,000 EUR at this auction.

At a recent session of the US’s Shapiro auction house, Portrait of a Young Lady, a painting made in 1971 by Nguyen Sang, was sold at 22,500 USD. The actual price of this painting is more than 30,000 USD, including tax and other expenses, which is absolutely not low for a watercolour-on-paper painting.

Earlier this year, silk painting Em Be Ben Chu Chim (Child with Bird) by master artist Nguyen Phan Chanh (1892-1984), one of the leading painters of Vietnamese contemporary fine arts, was sold at over 853,000 USD (6.7 million HKD) at an auction by Christie’s Hong Kong. This is the highest price for a painting by any Vietnamese artist sold by the auction house and in the world.

Another painting by Chanh, Nguoi Ban Oc (The Snail Seller), was sold for 600,000 USD (4.66 million HKD) at Christie’s Hong Kong.