Le Pho's painting "Picking Roses”
Dozens of precious paintings by renowned Vietnamese painters have been brought back to their homeland by a collector over the past 6 months.
With the idea of building an exhibition house displaying paintings by Vietnamese artists of the first generation of the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts de l’Indochine (the Indochina College of Fine Arts) (1925-1945), Vietnamese collector Nguyen Minh has spent hundreds of thousands dollars visiting auction houses around the world to buy paintings by renowned Vietnamese painters such as Nguyen Tuong Lan, Vu Cao Dam, Le Pho, Le Thi Luu.
He has brought them all back to Hanoi.
The Indochina College of Fine Arts is where successive generations of Vietnamese students have been trained in the western art tradition, laying the essential groundwork for the development of a distinctive Vietnamese style of modern art.
“My dream of having a small exhibition to display paintings of those who are considered the golden generations of the Indochina College of Fine Arts is about to come real,” Minh told The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports & Culture) newspaper.
“For many different reasons, those artists had to leave Vietnam and settle overseas, and created many precious products there. But anyway, those paintings still have a Vietnamese soul in them, so I will put all effort to bring them back to Vietnam,” he said.
In late May, Minh won two paintings at an auction held in Hong Kong. One of them was “Maternité”, painted by Vu Cao Dam on silk at around 1935-1939.
The other was “Landscape with fishing”, a renowned painting created in 1934 by Nguyen Tuong Lan. Its initial price at the auction was US$25,600 – 32,100 and Minh had to go a long way to win it as another collector was also keen on having the painting.
In early July, he brought four paintings by Vu Cao Dam, namely “Gossip”, “Spring”, “Two Lovers”, and “Lovers in a Lanscape” back to Hanoi, also through auctions.
He then won “Bouquet” by Le Pho, which had an opening price of $10,000 at an auction in Jerusalem, and then won other paintings by Pho, including “Sunflower” in the US, and “Lady with flowers” in Singapore.
Vietnamese collector Nguyen Minh at the Christie's Auction House in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of thethaovanhoa.vn
Also in July, Minh brought home two other paintings by Vu Cao Dam from the US: “Mere et enfan” and “La Recontre”.
Three months later, in Hong Kong, Minh got for himself six other paintings, three by Le Pho -- namely “Lady with child”, “Picking Roses”, “Composition” -- and two by Vu Cao Dam, which are “The Family” painted in 1960 and “The family” painted in 1972. He also brought back the painting “Brother and sister” by Le Thi Luu.
Minh said he intended to open his exhibition when he had at least ten of Le Pho’s paintings (now he has six) and the same number for Vu Cao Dam (now he has eight) and some other products by Le Thi Luu and Mai Trung Thu.
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