Iconic cartoonist's works on display in southern metro

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"˜Husband and children' (watercolor on paper), one of Choe's artworks on display at Tu Do Gallery in Ho Chi Minh City. The exhibition will run until May 31.

Two collections of works by the late Choe, one of Vietnam's most famous cartoonists, are on show at an exhibition that opened in Ho Chi Minh City on May 4.

On display at the Tu Do Gallery are 10 watercolors on paper caricatures titled Phu nu nuoc toi (Women of my country) and 20 oil on canvas paintings Choe did in 1998 when he was in France for treatment.

The later, titled Vision d'Été 1998, were exhibited at the City Hall of Savigny Le Temple, France, in the same year.

"Women of my country" was created in 1995 by the artist real name Nguyen Hai Chi   when he participated in a ASEAN cartoon exhibition in Japan. Ten artists from member countries were invited to the exhibition organized by the Japan Foundation ASEAN Culture Center.

Though these collections have been exhibited outside the country, this is the first time they are presented to the Vietnamese public, the Tu Do Gallery said in a statement.

Choe, born in 1943 in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, started his career at a newspaper in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, at the age of 22.

His cartoons about the Vietnamese and their lifestyle became an instant hit with millions of readers at home and abroad. His political cartoons, lampooning public figures of the former US-backed Saigon regime in the 1960s and 1970s, won him both fans and critics.

Choe's cartoons have appeared in many local and foreign newspapers, including The New York Times, Chicago Daily News, Kourrier International, Asahi Shimbun, and others.

They have also been displayed at many solo and group exhibitions in several countries.

He died in March 2003 after a long battle with illness.

Tu Do Gallery opened in 1989 and bought 20 artworks from Choe in the first month. His silk paintings quickly became bestsellers.

People love Choe's works because "he combines the art of cartoons and the art of oil painting," gallery owner Tran Thi Thu Ha said.
The exhibition will run until May 31.

Tu Do Gallery at 53 Ho Tung Mau Street, District 1, opens from 9 a.m. to noon and from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

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