Ethereal Charm - Vietnam artist Ho Huu Thu

I have known Ho Huu Thu for 6 years and over this period of time my respect and understandgiul for this gentle artist has grown immensely.

Born in 1943 , Ho Huu Thu is regarded as one of the most important artist of his generation in Since the 1950's the chaotic socio-political conditions in Vietnam provided a surprising foundation for Thu's Work. Amidst the chaos and confusion Thu has developed a genre typified by a puritanical homage to tranquility, beauty and cultural refinement. His enchanting creations are filled with innocent maidens, cultural icons and charmed by a Buddhist philosophy of peace. It is this dreamlike nature of Thu's work which captivates the viewer.

A painter since 15 and a student of art at the age of 17, Thu's initial inspiration was Western Art. Gauguin, Picasso and Chagall impressed him. Later it was Buddhist philosophy and master Vietnamese artist, namely Nguyen Gia Tri (1906-1993) who was to be his guiding light and inspiration. Gia Tri's pioneering work on lacquer had established the medium in fine art. Technically Tri was second to none. 

It is from here that Ho Huu Thu developed the lacquer medium further. Using the layering technique of lacquer, Thu applies several layers of different colours, lighter colours usually deeper. These layers are gently rubbed down to the desired levels. The effects of his skill here are amazing; a radiance and translucency permeates from his work. 

All at once Thu has captured within his work elements of impressionism and Buddhist spirituality in a unique way. What we see as light within the inner layers draws us into the composition. The translucency radiates a sense of spiritual formlessness, layers of colours with no one colour dominating. The result is an enchanting world of innocence and peace devoid of chaos. 

I realise that ideologies and prejudice have thrown this world into chaos and imprisoned our hearts. I have removed this from my art and created a world void of prejudice.

Ho Huu Thu 

At the age of 60, Ho Huu Thu is today one of the most respected artist in the region. His sincerity to art and furthering its values to society has won the confidence of many important collectors. A tireless worker, we look forward to the enchanting creations of this gentle artist in the years to come.

Jasdeep Sandhu, Gajah Gallery