Silk painting

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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 colours.

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Last modified: June 29, 2014