Nguyen Thanh Chuong, born 1949 in the Red River Delta of Bac Ninh, began painting at a tender age of six. In 1960, he enrolled to study fine art at the Hanoi Fine Arts College.
From an early age, Thanh Chuong has taken inspiration from the works of Picasso and Matisse, and through the passage of experimenting and creating, Thanh Chuong found a personal artistic language – one that exploits cubism to showcase the affinity between modern art’s simplification and the beauty of Vietnamese traditions. This highly sophisticated style has become a brand name called Thanh Chuong, and today, is a symbol of contemporary Vietnam.
Thanh Chuong focuses his works on the folksy simplicity of rural activities, spirit of children’s songs, colours of cheerful village festivals and the relationships within the family. He mainly relies on lines and shapes to create these images, and indulges immensely on bright, high contrasting and decorative primary colours to accentuate the beauty of Vietnamese folk culture.
Thanh Chuong’s oil and lacquer paintings have won many accolades and recognition from peers and art collectors all over the year. But the highest recognition for him came in the year 2000 when the United Nations chose one of his painting as the symbol for the occasion of the International Year of Volunteers, and subsequently issued a set of stamps bearing this image.
Since 1974, Thanh Chuong has held exhibitions both in Vietnam and overseas, and to date, he has showcased his artwork in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, USA, UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy.
In Thanh Chuong’s own words:
“ … one said that, painting is one of ways to recognise the world. But I want to add that it is also a way to love the world. Before peoples eyes, the painter opens images of the world which has been seen by eyes of his soul. The painter creates a new world to love and maintain ….”
– Thanh Chuong, Hanoi, 2007