Do Xuan Doan – Painting Vietnam On Canvases Of Gold!

Kimberly R. Cammack

Vietnamese fine art, within a span of the last 15 years or so, has truly come to the forefront of the art world. After years of languishing under a provincial existence, Vietnamese fine art has finally broken free from the shackles of its cloistered past. It’s boldly making its presence felt to a global audience and rapidly coming to the forefront of international fine arts. Indeed, Vietnamese fine art is the new buzzword in the cultural arena.

The recent emancipation of Vietnamese fine arts has made the world familiar with some of the best names in the area. Names such as Bui Huu Hung, Nguyen Thanh Binh, Ho Huu Thu, Do Duy Tuan, Hoang Hai Anh, Tran Quang Dinh, Quan Tho, Nguyen Thanh Hoa, Le Thua and Do Xuan Doan have become known to many art lovers from all over the globe. Of these, the last name on the list, Do Xuan Doan, holds a special place in everyone’s heart. A renowned artist from Vietnam, Xuan Doan is a true veteran in the field of fine arts. His contribution to the growth and development of Vietnamese fine arts has been tremendous. His works can be found at some of the most prestigious locations around the globe. Let’s take a closer look at this extraordinary personality.

Do Xuan Doan was born in 1937 in Hanoi. He graduated from the prestigious Hanoi Fine Arts University in 1961 and was a student of Master Nguyen Gia Tri. When asked about his source of inspiration, Do Xuan Doan confesses that it comes from his within his heart and his soul. At over 70 years old, this septuagenarian continues to paint with the zeal and fervor of his younger contemporaries, and creates exquisite pieces of art, dedicated to the beauty and the quintessence of life and emotional states. Xuan Doan once said, “Painting is my greatest passion and my motto is to live by the brush and to die by the brush.”

Xuan Doan is inspired by all things in nature, especially daily life with ancient houses, old streets and common people. The use of vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes make each of Xuan Doan’s canvases come alive with a shimmering life of its own. The themes are drawn from everyday life and exhibit a kind of simplicity that simply spellbinds. The paintings are like broken pieces of a very large mirror, every shard reflecting a slice of life drawn from everyday mundane chores.

Xuan Doan’s paintings are collected by the Luxury hotel, the Park Hyatt Saigon. More than 30 of his larger works are displayed prominently at the Lobby area of this hotel. His works are also present in private collections in Vietnam, France, Italy, Swiss, Germany, Japan, Singapore, England and the USA. Doan’s work has also been exhibited at the Vietnamese Culture Week exhibition in Belgium and France.

The contemporary art scene of Vietnam is buzzing with activity like never before. This is to be attributed not only to strong commercial reasons, but also to the commitment of artists and dealers to create and promote quality work. One cannot help but wonder in awe when one looks upon the radical metamorphosis of Vietnamese art over the last few years. Less than a decade ago, contemporary Vietnamese fine art and artists had negligible presence in their own country and virtually none on the international art scene. Today, artwork of artists such as Do Xuan Doan has found its way into international art galleries, with more artists following suit. It can be safely assumed that Vietnamese fine art has indeed come a long way.

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