Local sculptors want to bring the art into Vietnamese homes

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"Chicken" by Pham Bao Son, 33. It is an arrangement of iron pieces. The work is 105 cm long, 15 cm wide and 25 cm tall.

An exhibition of tiny works by nine young sculptors was launched in Hanoi Saturday as part of an effort to make the art more visible in Vietnam.

The artists, in their 30s and 40s, told news website VietNamNet in a Saturday report that because sculpture was not very popular in Vietnam, they decided to make some small works that could be put in peoples homes more easily.

They said they wanted to raise awareness of the art form in Vietnam.

"Why is there no Vietnamese sculpture in Vietnamese houses?" is the question that inspired the exhibition, said the artists who hope a group exhibition can generate more attention from  the public.

"New Form" includes more than 30 items shorter than 50 centimeters, which the artists argue are more practical pieces of art that can easily fit in the home or workplace. 

The works have been made from a variety of materials such as aluminum, bronze, stone, plastic, iron, clay, and wood.

Dao Chau Hai, one of the artists who served as a consultant to the exhibition, said it aimed to not only raise awareness of practical sculpture, but also to target rich families who spend a lot of money on "very silly stones."

Khong Do Tuyen, a teacher from the Vietnam University of Fine Arts, is presenting five of his aluminum works at the event, featuring people in modern time.

Pham Thai Binh, 34, is presenting a cheerful collection of sculptures of Vietnamese ethnic communities in the northern highlands. He uses composite material with a lacquer cover.

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His images bring joy: a little pinwheel, a guitar on the shoulder or a bird standing pillion on a bicycle.

Binh said his works can be bought by foreigners at between US$3,000-4,000 apiece but he will lower the price for any Vietnamese people interested to promote art at home.

Hai, the eldest of the artists, said the exhibition wasn't featuring any one artist's work in particular.

He said he wants to bring art, simple pieces of it, to average families.

"Our society is too chaotic culturally. It's time our spiritual development catches up with our materialistic development."

The exhibition will be open until October 21 on the third floor of Mai Gallery Art talk café, 12 Quan Su Street.

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