From "Vietnam Contemporary Art", 1996
By The Hanoi Fine Arts Publisher
In the conquest of nature, oil makes use of force, gets its
physical force from pastes and kilogrammes of oil in the even
colour of the rain-bow, it is capable of confronting nature and
wins victory. For its part, silk can only try to overwhelm
forces by weakness, to vanquish great numbers by smaller
numbers, in accordance with the effective play of "softness".
In 1930, Nguyen Phan Chanh, referring to the silk paintings of
the Chinese dynasties of Tang and Sung, made initial steps in
Vietnamese silk painting. Later on, Tran Van Can, Luu Van Sin,
Nguyen Tien Chung combined this painting with Western painting,
providing it with a new technique and a new content.
It is often said "as mild as silk painting". Their silks are
very mild, but they are very neat, sometimes vigorous even.
Forms, persons, landscapes are all clear as daylight and
constitute a realist beauty of a scientific character. Silk
represents an important language of Vietnamese painting after
lacquer. Its capacity of absorption and dilution given to the
works an impression of mellowness spreading through the woofs
and wefts of silk, adding a certain vibration to the forms and