Vietnam's famous sack painter exhibits first canvas work

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Painter Pham Luc. Photo courtesy of The Thao & Van Hoa

Pham Luc, known as the Vietnamese Van Gogh for his ability to let life vibrate in his works, is opening his 22nd show in Hanoi, but this is the first time he's exhibiting work done on canvas.

The exhibition "Sac xuan" (Spring Color) mark's Luc's 72nd spring and it is his first collection not painted on rice sacks, which is his trademark since he had to resort to it during the war, Luc told The Thao & Van Hoa newspaper.

"I've been thinking for sometime, and I decided to take the risk of leaving sack paintings "¦ Painting lovers will see a new Pham Luc," he said.

The show consists of 37 pieces.

The painter said the works feature his familiar themes of war grief, the rat race, and nostalgia for the lost.

Luc said one piece, "Cha con" (Father and Son), reflects the crisis of modern education methods as it pictures a skinny father spoon-feeding a chubby baby almost bigger than the father. The painter said he wants to warn parents to stop being servants to their children or the kids won't learn to be strong and kind.

Other pieces include "Vong xoay" (Spiralling), which shows torn-faced people and animals whirled together, "Ga trong" (Rooster) about a single father putting his baby in a toilet and several others that use lion dance images to reflect social issues "in less harsh and more human ways," Luc said.

Luc has opened exhibitions in Paris, London, Berlin and New York before returning home last year for a personal exhibition at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi.

His new exhibition will be open from 4:30 p.m. November 21 at Hanoi's Fine Arts Exhibition House at No. 16 Ngo Quyen Street.

Luc was a soldier who used to teach painting to other soldiers, thus he said his upcoming works are a present to the teachers who are honored on Vietnamese Teachers' Day November 20 and the soldiers who have their celebration on the day of the Vietnam Army's establishment on December 22.

They are a reminder of a part of his life, he said.

Pham Luc agreed to share some pieces from the "Sac Xuan" collection with The Thao & Van Hoa:

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