Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Hanoi Department of Culture and Information in late 2007 licenced painter Thai Phien’s Spring nude painting exhibition. This was the first nude painting exhibition licenced in
The exhibition, namely Spring, will showcase 48 nude photos by photographer Thai Phien from
The art circle has been awaiting this event for a long time because they expect the official acceptance of artworks which have existed silently so far. The
Painter Luong Xuan Doan said that Vietnamese nude art could not be made public later. He said that some Chinese artists were surprised when they learned that nude paintings were still strange to Vietnamese audiences.
Actually, nude figures or even sex is not strange in folk arts since paintings of genitalia or sexual activities of humans are found on bronze or pottery antiques. However, nude art is not recognised officially in
Though nude art is not recognised, it does exist in
For example, painter Le Thiet Cuong inaugurated Gallery 39A Ly Quoc Su with an exhibition of nude photos, paintings and statues named Nude in November 2005. Two years later, he celebrated the birthday of this gallery by an exhibition named Mind and Sex, with 62 paintings by Le Thi Minh Tam. Nude art paintings and photos have also been displayed at some personal exhibitions.
Vu Huyen, a photography critic, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Photographers’ Association, said that it was very late for
Painter Luong Xuan Doan said that associations must be pillars for artists, the advisor of art managers and the instructor of the public.
Sharing this viewpoint, Huyen said: “We sponsor Thai Phien’s Spring exhibition because he is a member of the Vietnam Photographers’ Association. Moreover, his photos are very good so why should we not introduce them to the public? I believe that the photos will direct the public to good things.”
However, the license was quickly revoked by the authority, citing it’s too new and not appropriate in
Here are the interview of Thai Phien by VietnamNet.
What could you say about your set of nude photos that will be exhibited in
Of 48 photos on display, half of them have not been made public so far. There will be black and white and colour photos, which were taken by old cameras and digital cameras.
What do you guess about the public opinion after this exhibition?
I think it will be praised and blamed at the same time. I am prepared to welcome both. I just hope that compliments will account for 51% and that would be a success for me. However, I’m sure that the winner would be Vietnamese photography in the process of integration and renovation.
Your exhibition is announced at a sensitive moment, when scandals related to unhealthy images are spread and stir up the public. What do you think about this?
I protest pornographic photos. But art is art. It is not true that we immediately have artistic nude photos by taking off others’ clothes. Moreover, it is absurd that everybody is banned from using lighters when a house catches fires. Nobody opposes nude photos on my website www.thaiphinephoto.com.
How about your photo book? It seems that the Art Publishing House is quite open?
No, I don’t think that it’s openness. That’s the job of art makers, the job that requires breakthroughs. Moreover, artistic nude photos are not new, so how can we bind ourselves?
The story of photographer Nguyen Thai Phien, who has won an international prize for a nude photo he took, is also interesting. He once went on a business trip to Buon Ma Thuot. While staying at a hotel there, he got a phone call from a woman. She asked him if he'd like to come to her house to take nude photos for her. When the photographer arrived, he saw a nice, middle-aged woman. She said that her husband was away from home and that she wanted to give her husband some very special photos of herself. The woman asked Phien to shoot two rolls of film, leave the film with her and he could charge what he liked. The photographer told the lady that he'd take the photos for free if he could keep the negatives. No thank you, the lady said. Phien took the photos and gave the rolls of film to the lady, collected his fee and left her house. The next day she had someone deliver 20 new rolls of film to the photographer.