A portrait of late musician Trịnh Công Sơn by artist Trần Thế Vĩnh.— Photo courtesy of the artist

HCM CITY — A collection of portraits of 51 well-known 20th century Vietnamese artists and intellectuals will be on display at Mai House Saigon on October 28.

All the oil paintings were created by artist Trần Thế Vĩnh, a graduate of Huế Fine Arts University.

The portraits feature late composers Văn Cao and Trịnh Công Sơn, and late poets Bùi Giáng and Hoàng Cầm, and Vĩnh’s teacher, artist Vĩnh Phối.

Portraits of late poets Bùi Giáng (L) and Hoàng Cầm by artist Trần Thế Vĩnh. — Photo courtesy of the artist

The collection also highlights Việt Nam’s top intellectuals such as philosopher Trần Đức Thảo, writer and linguist Nguyễn Hiến Lê, scholar Phan Khôi, and journalist Nguyễn Hữu Đang.

The 34-year-old artist spent two years (2018-19) completing his collection.

“I admire the artists’ lives and careers. Apart from my teacher, artist Vĩnh Phối, I had never met other artists. I learned about them through their works and documents, and used my admiration and feeling to create their portraits,” Vĩnh said.  

All of the portraits are featured in a photo book titled Vọng (Amiration), released on October 22 by the Writers’ Association Publishing House.

The 116-page book includes Vĩnh’s descriptions of the artists.

Vĩnh, a native of Quảng Trị Province, took part in several group exhibitions in Huế from 2005-2010. 

In 2010, he moved to HCM City and his works were presented several times at Tự Do Gallery.

He began creating portraits from 2013 and won the special prize from the 2013 Dogma Prize, an art award for self-portraits, in the same year.

In 2016, Vĩnh introduced his solo exhibition Bắt Đầu Từ Đâu (Where I Started) featuring portraits of himself.

The exhibition will close on November 1. The venue is at 1 Ngô Thời Nhiệm Street in District 3. — VNS