HANOI (Xinhua) – Within minutes, red lotuses and green leaves were showing up on a large sheet of white paper under the hand of a well-groomed Chinese painter, overlooked by his compatriots and Vietnamese counterparts.
Chen Zhonghua, head of the Beibu Gulf Painting and Calligraphy Institute in China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was drawing lotus flowers and leaves in bright colors which looked lively. One of Vietnamese painters besides him was using Chinese ink to draw a stylized lotus in black that was also the two stylized Vietnamese words “An tinh” (Kindness).
Dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese artists gathered in Vietnam’s Hanoi capital on Friday to draw paintings themed “Lotus” and discuss fine art-related topics after attending the opening ceremony of a Chinese painting exhibition and China-Vietnam traditional culture exchange at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.
Addressing the ceremony, Mr Chen said the six-day exhibition, which has been displaying over 100 sketches by 16 Chinese painters and 14 Chinese ethnic costumes, acted as a bridge of arts and friendship between Chinese and Vietnamese artists and art lovers, helping strengthen cultural exchange and cooperation between the two neighbours.
Mr Chen’s remarks were echoed by Nguyen Van Tinh, chairman of the Vietnam-China Cultural Exchange Club in Hanoi. At the ceremony, Mr Tinh said, “This artwork exhibition is a very meaningful people-to-people exchange, reinforcing the traditional friendship, and enhancing mutual understanding between Vietnamese and Chinese people.”
According to Mr Tinh, the Chinese paintings and costumes on display have shown the artists’ exquisite artistic level and passion for traditional arts.
After the opening ceremony with the participation of representatives of the Chinese embassy in Vietnam, and officials of the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Chinese painters and calligraphers and their Vietnamese counterparts drew paintings about lotus, and exchanged ideas and experiences about fine arts.
Meanwhile, many Chinese and Vietnamese art lovers, including lecturers and their students, beamed at the painters and their artworks with admiration.
“We always long for gazing at Chinese paintings directly like this. In my opinion, artists from Guangxi have already described truly many fields of real life in their sketches,” Tran Thi Thanh Liem, vice dean of the Language and Culture Studies Department of the Dai Nam University in Hanoi, told Xinhua on Friday.
Many students at the university said they liked the Chinese paintings because their themes and colors are close to Vietnamese culture, and that they are keen to visit China to widen eyes.
“I realise that these sketches depict many Chinese picturesque landscapes and peaceful life of ordinary people like those in Vietnam. I do want to visit Guangxi University for Nationalities to learn more about Chinese fine arts and improve my Chinese speaking skills,” freshwoman Nguyen Pham Thuy Tien told Xinhua while gluing her eyes to a sketch depicting the natural beauty of Hua Shan (Mount Hua), one of well-known mountains of China.
Not only Vietnamese ordinary people but also professional painters and calligraphers speak highly of Chinese painters and their artworks.
“Many factors of the Chinese sketches, from ideas, souls to layouts and colours, are clear and simple. They exhibit fine characteristics of painters in particular and people in general, ingenuous, friendly,” Cung Khac Luoc, one of Vietnam’s four greatest calligraphers in modern time, told Xinhua, gentling stroking his white hair and beard.
According to the 83-year-old man, Vietnam and China have already been close to each other in terms of geography, culture and affection, and people-to-people exchanges like the painting and costume exhibition will bring them closer during the process of helping each other inherit and bring into full play fine traditional values.
“Regarding Chinese fine arts, Chinese artists are adept at using watercolors and black ink, and their paintings about mountains, waters, plants, insects, flowers and birds are well-known around the world,” young Vietnamese painter Mai Dai Luu told Xinhua after completing a lively watercolor sketch about lotus.
“I hope that Vietnamese and Chinese relevant agencies will organise more workshops, refresher courses and study tours in China, so that I can acquire more useful drawing techniques.”
Wang Baizhong, rector of the College of Ethnology and Sociology at the Guangxi University for Nationalities, said the university, committed to the closer China-Vietnam friendship and cultural exchanges between the two countries, is ready to receive more prominent students from China’s southern region and Southeast Asia.
“I think that among Chinese localities, culture of Guangxi is most similar to that of Vietnam. More Vietnamese young students and researchers of fine arts and culture will go to Guangxi and other Chinese localities for intensive training, contributing to the better understanding and finer cooperation between the two countries,” Tran Thi Huong, deputy director of the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, said.