Nguyen Ha's Collection
It is hard not to fall for an opportunity to meet with Nguyen Ha and admire his paintings. We are charmed by his life experiences and stories as well as by the admiration and respect showered on him by young artists from Hai Phong.
Despite his age and all the ups and downs in his life, the life of an individual who has danced through all the four key notes of life: joy, sadness, anger and love, Nguyen Ha always present himself to us as someone whose passion for life is abundant and overflowing. His openness and joyful laughter bring us to endless open-ended stories, mixed up with both memories of the past and moments of the present. For one moment, he can be lost in deep thoughts. And just one moment later, he can overwhelm us with his sharing on his paintings and his friends’ paintings…. We often find ourselves rearrange the stories we hear from him, connecting the many dots in his life. The result is a long story about the life of an individual and a personality; of a man and an artist. A master artist once talked about the values that help to develop a great artist. First, it is his ability to learn and his mentors, then art schools. Artist Nguyen Ha (born in 1933) is fortunate enough to have both the ability and the mentors who are his friends and his teachers. His friendship with master artists like Nguyen Sang, Duong Bich Lien, and prominent painters like Luu Cong Nhan, Nguyen Trong Kiem… has nurtured in Nguyen Ha his passion for art, even in his most difficult years.
Like many artist of his generation, Nguyen Ha did not paint much in his young years (during the 50s and early 60s of the last century). He started painting often in late 80s and early 90s and his works of art truly surprise us with their unique beauty and energy. His experiments with traditional lacquer during 1960-1970 made his lacquer paintings have a mysterious beauty typical of lacquer, just like his predecessor, master artist Nguyen Gia Tri who is the king of lacquer paintings in Vietnam. The language that Nguyen Ha used for his art succeeded in making the full use of lacquer as a medium, with its typical elegance and subtlety under its scratches; the visible and the invisible existent simultaneously of the traditional lacquer technique. It is far different from the simple and flat blocks of lacquer paint, gold and silver which is so commonly seen in current artists.
Nguyen Ha’s paintings help us to understand him more. We can see the wisdom and the youthful humor of a man who is old enough to understand the limits of life and the infinites of art, so as to let go, to wisely feel and love, and to forgive generously… towards life and man.
As he often said to younger artists, painting is ultimately a process of “passion” and “compassion”. The end in art is like a vision far away from the artist but magically guide and control the life of the artist along the endless path of creativity and soul searching.
Nguyen Ha is one of the very few remaining artists who worship the world of deep emotions, of remote nature, and of compassionate conversations, a world full of eternal desires for man, for women and love, and for peace.
Nguyen Ha’s art is young, energetic, free and honest, leading us to his garden of love and peace. Looking up from that garden, we can see colorful clouds floating in the sky as if they were floating through a man’s life… Cloud, water, air and the endless conversations of nature. … In them, we can clearly see Nguyen Ha, his creative space, and creative energy.
We would like to thank artist Nguyen Ha for allowing us, Hanoi Studio, to present to art lovers the various works of art that he created in recent years.
Duong Thu Hang - Hanoi Studio