Painter Nguyen Khac Chinh: Efforts to find his own path

Painter Nguyen Khac Chinh: Efforts to find his own path

Tuesday, 2015-08-18 07:36:09
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‘Life of Manequins’ helped painter Nguyen Khac Chinh find his own path on the contemporary fine arts scene. (Credit: VNA)

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NDO – ‘Life of Manequins’, the first solo exhibition of painter Nguyen Khac Chinh, well-known for his many exhibitions abroad, has left a strong impression on visitors through the exhibits’ striking visuals.

Nguyen Khac Chinh was born in 1984 and graduated from the Hanoi University of Fine Arts in 2006. He has affirmed his position on the contemporary fine arts scene. The series of paintings entitled ‘Life of Manequins’ helped him see his path more clearly, shared painter Chinh with Nhan Dan Weekly.

Q: Is it difficult for a young person, like you, to find a path in fine arts?

A: I’m still on the way to finding myself in this extremely severe arts environment. I’ve exerted all my strength to strive, learn and listen to myself in order to find a path for myself. It has been an arduous but none the less interesting journey.

Fine arts is a special job. Artists create beautiful and meaningful pieces depending on their thoughts and feelings. Approaching the history of fine arts in Vietnam and around the world, artists, including myself, are influenced by the diverse techniques from different schools of art. I have experienced and learned about many schools of art, shaping my style.

Q: Where do you find the inspiration and materials to create your paintings?

A: I always draw inspiration from society and everything around me, particularly the lifestyles of people in contemporary society. The normal but typical activities of people have become abundant subjects for my paintings.

The way I create and complete my paintings is not a copy of reality, but rather is the manifestation of personal narratives; they evoke a reality the public needs to feel for themselves.

Painting contains the colours, images and personality of artists; I want the viewers to feel the meaning of fine art works on their own. I’m extremely happy when I feel the values of the beauty of the arts.

Q: Could you tell us about the process of forming ideas and completing the series ‘Life of Mannequins’?

A: The creation of paintings in the series entitled ‘Life of Mannequins’ was a process of creating individual paintings and language as well as developing the real images into symbols with different meanings.

The figures in my paintings are not specific characters; however, if you look at them thoroughly enough, you will see that they are very familiar in real life.

I had nurtured the idea and completed the creation of this set of paintings over a very long time. The paintings, through their colours and lay-out, resolutely show my ambition, desire and thoughts.

Q: Why do the girls in your works have a traditional appearance but glacial and emotionless faces?

A: The girls in my paintings wear Ao dai – the traditional dress of Vietnam – and have faces specific to Vietnamese women in antiquity; however they are in a contemporary art space.

The loneliness and insensitivity of the human in modern life is increasing at an alarm rate. They feel lonely although they are in their home. The concerns about the material life and the movements in society make people unbalanced.

They have to find appropriate moods and faces for themselves to express their feelings. Faintness and loneliness are messages I want to convey in every painting.

Q: What about the characters that people cannot identify as male or female? They are also fragile and lonely.

A: Gender confusion also exists in contemporary society. Through the paintings featuring the characters that we cannot identify as male or female, I want to show the combination of the fragility and strength in human personality.

Q: Have you ever felt lonely, frustrated and unbalanced in your life like the characters in your paintings?

A: Creating artworks is a personal job for artists because the pieces are created by themselves. It is not easy for artists to find a path in fine arts through their works; sometimes I have reached blocks.

The emotions and states that viewers feel from the figures in my paintings are feelings that I have experienced in my career.

Q: What do you do if you reach a block in your work?

A: I draw almost continuously; however, sometimes I need the time to rebalance. When I reach an impasse, I try to stop my work to look at myself. I usually go out, meet my friends or do something else.

Looking ahead, I will rest for some time to look back on my work and prepare ideas that I have been nurturing.

Thank you very much for the interview!

Some paintings in the exhibition ‘Life of Manequins':

seeking the real face


Seeking the real face

Office’s Work 1

Look at the facts


BAO AN/Translated by Nhan Dan Online

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