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Figure & Form – An artistic exploration of the human body

Since the first cave paintings, humanity has always represented its own form. The impulse to see representations of our own bodies is a permanent fixture in art and will never go out of fashion.


On a canvas, the human form transforms into art when the artist’s eye, mind and hand are in harmonious co-operation. Throughout history, artists have manipulated the elements of human figures as the ultimate test of their skill. Some impart symbolism, association and meaning to their figures, while others depict perceived reality. Ultimately, all human forms reflect the artist’s own identity; a visual portrayal of who they think they are and how they wish to appear to the world.

Vietnamese minority young child in a colourful, painterly background
Highland Young Child I by Hoang Linh

Vietnamese figurative artists are pioneers of their own artistry and creatives who incorporate modernity without losing touch with tradition. These artists experiment with a myriad of styles, mediums and colour palettes to express the universal theme of what it means to be human.

Vietnamese saffron clad monks returning to the pagoda
Returning to the pagoda by Bui Van Hoan
Beautiful nude woman lying down in a swamp
Nude by Dao Xuan Tinh
Vietnamese minority young child in a colourful painterly background
Highland young child II by Hoang Linh

Artist Ngo Van Sac uses fire to paint, showcasing his portraits to be a collaboration with nature using the earthly elements, wood, and fire. Artist Phuong Quoc Tri utilizes warm and cool relationships of colour and tone to define the forms of his figures. Each of his characters tell a story; much like classical music, we are forced to think, reflect and feel emotions to come to our own conclusions. Concealing the faces of women entirely, artist Nguyen Thanh Binh creates a surrealist, amorphous effect that conveys an elusive feminine mystery.

Vietnamese ethnic minority villagers depicted in a fire on wood medium
Highland Girl II & Land of Memory I by Ngo Van Sac
A half-face portrait of a beautiful vietnamese woman with her hair up in a scarf on a textured yellow background
Passion by Phuong Quoc Tri
A half-face portrait of a beautiful vietnamese woman with her hair up in a scarf on a textured grey background
Poise by Phuong Quoc Tri
A nude portrait of a beautiful vietnamese woman with a cloth draped around her on a textured grey background
Nude by Phuong Quoc Tri
Vietnamese schoolgirls dressed in the traditional red ao dai with their teacher wearing the traditional white ao dai
Schoolgirls by Nguyen Thanh Binh

Lacquer artists also rejuvenate the ancient art form and delight us with their own distinctive approach to figurative art. Lacquer artist Bui Huu Hung portrays regal women in an illusory, ornamental space. Rendered in rich intricate gowns with delicate expressions, Bui Huu Hung’s choice of colour and design bestows a mystical grace on his figures. Meanwhile, artist Duong Sen’s lacquer paintings place doe-eyed young women on a geometric background characterized by asymmetrical forms, liberally embellished in gold leaf invoking both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements.

A noble Vietnamese princess adorned in traditional finery against an ornamental background rendered in lacquer
The Princess by Bui Huu Hung
A beautiful Vietnamese woman dressed in a shimmering white ao dai on a contrasting black background rendered in lacquer
Girl with umbrella by Dinh Quan
A doe eyed Vietnamese teen dressed in the traditional ao dai rendered in lacquer, embellished with gold leaf and duck eggshell
Teenager by Duong Sen
A delicate nude Vietnamese woman draped in cloth against a red background rendered in lacquer, embellished with gold leaf
Nude by Dinh Quan
A Vietnamese woman dressed in ao dai, playing a guitar surrealistically depicted with the head of her lover, embellished with gold leaf and duck eggshells in lacquer
Symphony by Bui Truong Du

Visit ArtBlue Studio to view the works of the above-mentioned artists, along with many others who contribute, excite, and galvanize figurative artistry with mastery in skill, vision, and execution!

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