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From Vietnam with love

It’s 45 years of the Indo-Vietnam friendship

art and culture Updated: Jan 07, 2017 09:06 IST
Aparna Alluri
An exhibition to commemorate 45 years of the Indo-Vietnam relationship. Till January 11.
An exhibition to commemorate 45 years of the Indo-Vietnam relationship. Till January 11.(Arvind Yadav / HT)

Thi Giang Luong is on her first visit to India. “I am very excited,” she says, beaming. “I am loving India!”

The 32-year-old painter from Vietnam is visiting Delhi for a week because her art is part of an exhibition that celebrates 45 years of diplomatic relations between India and Vietnam.

The two countries have had a strong bilateral relationship since 1972. Although a staunch advocate of non-alignment, India supported Vietnam in its fight for independence (from France) and in its bid for unification. India also opposed America’s involvement in the protracted Vietnam war.

Works of 20 artists are on display at the exhibition. (Arvind Yadav / HT )

The exhibition - on until January 10 - features paintings, sculptures and photographs by 20 Vietnamese artists, including Luong, an oil painter who owns a gallery in Hanoi. She started painting when was eight years old but she learn to paint in oils only after graduating college. Three of her works are on display at the exhibition, each representing a different season in Hanoi. In spring, two women stand under the grass-green bower of a tree in full bloom; in summer, a young girl is surrounded by a mountain of red, a symbol of Vietnam’s summer flower or “co may”; in autumn, a woman walks amid shades of yellow, ranging from bright sunshine to a dull amber. Yellows seep across the frame, signifying shedding leaves and flowers, making it hard to tell where the trees end and the ground begins.

Autumn, Luong says, is her favourite season: “I love the autumn in Hanoi.”

A work of sculpture at the exhibition in IGNCA, Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/HT )

The women in her paintings are typically in traditional Vietnamese garb -- “ao dai” a form-fitting tunic worn over pants usually in silk. “I hope that through my paintings, Indians understand our culture more and I hope the relationship (between India and Vietnam) grows,” Luong adds.

That’s the goal of the exhibition as a whole. It represents a range of Vietnamese art, from intricate sketches by pen to paintings on lacquer and synthetic silk. Photographs - vivid, arresting and stylised portraits of people across the country - are a major part of the display. The week-long celebration also includes a film festival, from January 5-11, which will show seven movies by Vietnamese filmmakers.

What: Contemporary Artists from Vietnam

When: January 5-11, 11 am to 6 pm

Where: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 11 Mansingh Road

Nearest metro station: Janpath