Creative Culture Column: Visit Vietnam at Hanoi Art House

Creative Culture columnist Elizabeth Woodward discusses Hanoi Art House, a gallery in MK that is passionate about showcasing Vietnamese art.

The Morning Flowers’ by Nguyen Thanh Binh

Hanoi Art House is a fine art gallery based in Shenley Lodge, MK, that specialises in contemporary Vietnamese art.

Founded in 2014, the gallery has also been involved in exhibitions and art fairs in London, New York and numerous cities across the UK.

Hanoi Art House is passionate about showcasing Vietnamese artworks to an international audience. The gallery houses work
from some of Vietnam’s most notable and respected artists, such as the anonymous women in traditional clothes portrayed by Nguyen Thanh Bihh and the striking colours used by Dao Hai Phong to depict landscapes and villages.

The French colonisation of Vietnam in the 19th century was influential in the development of contemporary Vietnamese art.

In 1925 the École Supérieure des Beaux Arts de l’Indochine (now known as the Vietnam University of Fine Arts) was founded by the French colonial government.

Other art schools were created in the big cities of Hanoi and Saigon where European art methods were taught. Vietnamese artists
began to fuse this style with the traditional mediums of lacquer and silk, the result was a new genre of art, unique to Vietnam.

Lacquer painting is a traditional Vietnamese technique that dates back over 2000 years. The process is long, taking a minimum of 75 days to complete and complex, requiring skill and patience.

The paintings are created on wood which is coated with various layers, most notably the sap of the lacquer tree.

The process has many stages of drying, sanding and polishing which reveals the colours underneath. Further elements such as crushed eggshell, mother of pearl and gold leaf can be added to create a unique and beautiful effect.

Silk painting is a traditional technique that reached its peak in the early 20th century. Much of the beauty of the painting relies on the quality of the silk used, with its inherent shine being utilised in the work.

Silk artists are very skilled as the technique requires specialist knowledge of the characteristics of silk and its fibres.

Hanoi Art House also represents local artists, Simi Godagama, a watercolour painter and Len Gifford, a sculptor who are both based in Milton Keynes.

For further details and information regarding upcoming events later this year, visit: http://www.hanoiarthouse.co.uk.

Visits to the gallery are by appointment only, email angie@hanoiarthouse.co.uk

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