return icon Vietnamnet.vn

“The lordly tree” of silk painting guild

Starting in the early 20th century, silk painting is one of the fine arts which has been practiced by many local painters. 

Among them, painter Nguyen Thi Mong Bich is considered as a veteran of the art with impressive works telling stories of the people and histories of the country.

Born in 1933, painter Mong Bich has lived through two centuries with the ups and downs of painting history, especially silk paintings. She is considered as “the lordly tree” of the silk painting guild. 

                       
                   Portrait of painter Mong Bich (1933). Photo: L'Espace 

When studying in the 1950s at the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts de l’Indochine, which is now Vietnam University of Fine Arts, founded in 1925 by the French, painter Mong Bich nurtured her passion and knowledge of art from her lecturers who were famous painters such as Tran Van Can, Nguyen Do Cung, Hoang Lap Ngon, Luong Xuan Nhi, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Nguyen Duc Nung, among others. She is one of the few typical female painters in Vietnam with the traditional realism style.

                       
                “The Old Woman” (1993)

Painter Mong Bich skillfully expressed depicted reality on silk, a quite new material at that time, making her paintings exceptional and outstanding. She was interested in the paiting of portraits and characters of people from all walks of life. They have been brought into her paintings with different stories.

She paints very slowly and carefully like getting to know them through each line of the brush. There are some paintings that took her months to complete.

Painter Mong Bich paints with her instinct and full of emotions, according to painter Tran Van Can. Those emotions have touched viewers' hearts through famous portraits such as: “Mother and Child” (1960), “Portrait of a Cham Girl” (1980), “Grandmother and Grandchild” (1985), “The Old Woman” (1993), “Portrait of the People's Artist Quach Thi Ho” (1995), among others.

Old women and mothers always inspire Bich. She believes that they are the heroes as they have devorted their whole life to their family members.

                        
                  “Portrait of the People's Artist Quach Thi Ho” (1995)

Cultural researcher Phan Cam Thuong once said about Mong Bich's paintings: “Paintings of Mong Bich do not bring anything new about the art, however the characters are portrayed very strongly. It makes people think about human life and the growth from individual to society.”

Painter Mong Bich is one of the few female artists of her time who have won important painting awards of the country, such as the first prize at the Viet Bac of the Viet Bac Interregional Service of Culture exhibition in 1961 for the picture “Mother and Child” or the first prize at the Vietnam Fine Arts Exhibition in 1993 for the picture “The Old Woman”.

                        
             A still life painting by Mong Bich (1997)

After 60 years of painting, painter Mong Bich had the first exhibition with the theme “Between Two Centuries”organized in 2020 in Hanoi by L'Espace, the French Culture Center. It exhibited her works from the 1960s to the present day, recounting her experiences across the country and recording the diary of life and people for nearly a century through  her uniquely sensitive and caring eyes.

Over decades, her works are still full of artistic and historical value, not only appreciated by painters in the country but also in the world.

Professor Nora A. Taylor from the Art Institute of Chicago said at her age, painter Mong Bich not only lives longer than most of her colleagues, but she is also an embodiment of change of Vietnam’s art and history over the past century. Her paintings have been out of all movements in which most generations have joined. They are a beautiful reminder of the popularity of human values.

At the age of nearly 90, painter Mong Bich still paints whenever she is inspired by something beautiful in life. “Now I am as old as the old women that I painted once. For me, anything that touches my heart can be a picture”, she said.

Hanoitimes

Vietnamese paintings return to homeland

Vietnamese paintings return to homeland

The painting "Madame Phuong" by painter Mai Trung Thu recently sold for US$3.1 million, a high point in Vietnam’s cultural life.

Reviving Hang Trong folk paintings from traditional materials

Reviving Hang Trong folk paintings from traditional materials

Hang Trong folk paintings are one of the most outstanding folk painting genres in Vietnam, however are falling into oblivion. 

MORE NEWS

EVN worried about financial problems, historic losses

The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) recorded a big loss of VND29 trillion in 2022. The figure may even double this year.

Vietnam among top 10 best places to go for budget honeymoon

The nation has been listed among the top 10 best places to go for a budget honeymoon in 2023 by prestigious global travel website Lonely Planet.

Vietnam’s industrial production to rise 6.6% in 2023: S&P Global

Vietnam is predicted to record a rise of 6.6% in industrial production in 2023, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Vietnamese athletes to receive 1 mln USD for Paris Olympic gold

Vietnamese athletes competing in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, scheduled for July 26 to August 11, 2024, will receive 1 million USD in bonus for each gold medal; 500,000 USD for silver and 200,000 for bronze.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES FEBRUARY 1/2023

Party chief’s book on corruption fight to make debut

Google Doodle honours first female Vietnamese newspaper editor Suong Nguyet Anh

The world’s most popular search engine Google has paid tribute to Suong Nguyet Anh, the first female editor of the nation’s first women’s newspaper by posting a drawing of her on its homepage on February 1.

Banh Cuon among world top 10 dishes visitors should try in 2023

Australian travel magazine Traveller has listed Banh Cuon, Vietnamese steamed rice rolls, among the top 10 best meals from around the world that visitors should try in 2023.

Party chief directs key tasks for new year

Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee, mapping out key tasks for the new year.

VIETNAM BUSINESS NEWS FEBRUARY 1/2023

Domestic market to drive tourism recovery in 2023: insider

Some big companies made profits in 2022, but others incurred losses

While Duc Giang Chemicals and Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical have reported big profits for Q4 and the year 2022, Vietnam Airlines and leading steel manufacturer Hoa Phat saw big losses for the year.

Vietnamese couple help German bicyclist in distress

Trung and Nhung, a Vietnamese couple, on the way to travel across Vietnam on Tet holiday, saw a foreigner who was facing troubles because of strong winds in Ninh Thuan.

Vietnam develops green agriculture to increase exports to EU

Vietnam is paying attention to mobilising resources to invest in developing green agriculture with an aim to raising the market share of its agricultural exports to the European Union.

Vietnamese team comes first at Southeast Asian Fencing Championship

Vietnam secured the first position at the 2023 Southeast Asian Fencing Championship which has taken place recently in Malaysia.

2023 - Time for Edtech to thrive in Vietnam

Experts are positive about the development of Vietnam’s education technology (Edtech) market in 2023 if local Edtech companies can overcome post-pandemic challenges.

UK imports from Vietnam in 2022 put at over US$6 billion

United Kingdom (UK) imports from Vietnam amounted to US$6.06 billion last year, rising by 5.2% over 2021, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
back_to_top