SPECIAL portraits lurking in romantic and poetic symbols and patterns by Thai artist Vichit Nongnual are on display at an exhibition which kicked off on Tuesday in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
The exhibition titled Asian Faces features 28 colourful portraits created in 2018 and 2019, depicting typical characteristics of Asian people.
Visitors may feel lost in the wonderful world created by the artist. The figures in his paintings are sometimes hidden in butterflies, dragons, flowers and forests. Sometimes, he created special visual effects to reflect the souls of the figures.
The acrylic paintings will bring Vietnamese visitors an interesting experience in the genre of portraits. Nongnual was born in 1971. He is a famous artist among collectors, gallery owners and art lovers in Europe and the US. He has many works exhibited and collected worldwide. Apart from the paintings, he is also well-known for sculptures.
Nongnual said he tries to reflect the beauty of life and aesthetic opinion in the paintings rather than depict the faces in a realistic style.
“There is no border and identity in my paintings, people may not realise that the figure in the painting is a man or woman or transgender,” he said.
“I just focus on the beauty of humanity and life.”
He has visited Vietnam several times but this is the first time he has introduced the works here. With similarities in culture and close geographic distance, he expects that his paintings will receive praise from Vietnamese visitors.
“I hope that next time I come back to Vietnam, I can display paintings of Vietnamese landscape, culture and people,” he said.
He is also researching about Vietnamese traditional patterns and symbols.
“While Vietnamese art is influenced by French aesthetics, Thai fine art is inspired by Italian art,” said artist Pham Huy Thong.
“In his artworks, Nongnual combined components of Western art and the details of Eastern and Thai art. We can see traditional patterns and symbols of Thai culture in his paintings.”
“Each artist has his/her own aesthetic opinion and skillfully sends it through artworks, so does Nongnual. While he named the exhibition Asian Faces, I believe that he wants to showcase aspects representing Asian people, not only Thai people. The faces have characteristics that people can realise Asian people when they contemplate the paintings.”
The exhibition will run until February 28 at Dong A Gallery, 115 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, Hanoi. Vietnam News/Asia News Network