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A Mythic Vietnam Through the Brushstrokes of Architecture and History

“A steady country is one with a wealth of history and a steady generation is one that can understand and respect the heritage that their forefathers left behind,” Vũ says of his exhibition “Kỳ Ẩn Việt Nam.”

Citeaux Mỹ Ca Monastery (left) and Landmark 81 (right).

In the cozy exhibition space, one after another, the artworks of “Kỳ Ẩn Việt Nam” make us feel as if we’re lost in a different dimension. Each of the oil paintings is a combination of different elements evoking the many materials that made these storied buildings.

Chùa Thầy, Hanoi.

After graduating and joining the workforce, Vũ dabbles in both architecture and visual art. He publishes some paintings online and has been receiving positive feedback from the community. This motivated him to set aside more time for art and begin putting together his first collection. And eight months after putting the very first brushstrokes on canvas, the 18 pieces in “Kỳ Ẩn Việt Nam” were finished.

To Vũ, Vietnam is interwoven with a prolific history across the eras. Architecture is one of the most clear-cut mediums to reflect that rich history. In the first collection, he wants to present to young people and other spectators the many tales of Vietnam’s landmarks and geographic regions. From that vantage point, each person can draw for themselves a perspective and appreciation of the nation’s historic structures. Within these stories, there are also didactic themes of how a society rises and falls — perhaps one can find a piece of oneself in these familiar images?

Apart from modern luminaries like Notre-Dame Cathedral in Saigon or St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi, the collection also delivers snippets of nature and ancient edifices — like the Báo Thiên Tower or Lưu Cừ archaeological site in Trà Vinh. Prior to executing the paintings, Vũ shares that he spent time researching the history behind the structures.

The exhibition “Kỳ Ẩn Việt Nam” takes place from March 20 to 28 at 6 Lê Văn Miến, Thảo Điền Ward, Thủ Đức City. Free admission from 9am to 9pm every day.

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