"I am a wanderer. When I feel tired of the whirl of modern life, I take my backpack to escape away, sometimes with friends, sometimes by myself. It is not too difficult to imagine how the mountains in Northern area enchanted me, from the harsh but spectacular nature to simple but warm-hearted people. I don’t know when it starts but just seeing the sign FRONTIER AREA, I always feel very excited.
I absolutely admire people who are living here. Although their lives are so hard, the people are full of vigor. I miss the eyes, the smiles, the sweats rolling on their faces in the freezing winter morning. I miss the bowls of corn wine, “mèn mén” (Specialty from the hill tribes’ made of corn), ”thắng cố” (the dish of horses’ intestine, liver, kidney... in a big pan and served right in the market) and the simple foods when I go to the hill tribe market. Markets in mountainous area where everyone are friends, people don’t glare at each other like in Hanoi pubs, where you can drink wine in bowls and shoulder by shoulder to others, where the affection between people become a specialty, where... never told to the end. I would be an ungrateful person if I didn’t paint them. They are my special friends, my loves; those who gave me food to eat, places to live in, and inspired me a lot.
I have wondered should I be sad or happy when seeing the hardship lives but full of loves and humanity. I still have not found the answer yet. Until now the portraits I painted are still bittersweet, strips of vibrant color but still burnished austerity. I am not ashamed of confusion, because it is my true feeling. If someone asked whether my paintings transfer a great idea, whether it contains any message or not, I would answer: No, my paintings only have sincerity."
The exhibition presents 24 portraits from the series about Northern highland.
The exhibition from 17th to 25th November 2012 in Nguyen Art Gallery, 31 Van Mieu str., Hanoi, Vietnam.
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