Talking With Artist Luu Cong Nhan

by Luu Cong Nhan

Da Lat in recent days has attracted many visitors to the eve of Da Lat Flower Festival 2005. So has "Old Nhan" home, is still the same as seven years before with flowers covering the alleys.

In his room full of paintings, the talk and laughters bubble profusely. Mr Luu Cong Nhan still looks like the 70 year old artist of seven years ago.

Although Old Nhan is seriously ill, the ways he talks and smiles make me feel at home. He warmly welcomes me and Nguyen Viet Ta, Chief Editor of HCMC Ex-servicemen’s Newspaper who is searching materials for the program “Souvenirs of soldiers to the South”. Nhan shakes Ta’s hand and offers Ta his newly-published picture - book titled “Flower and Portrait”. On the cover of this book is a funny painting: a nude trunk of a woman “Love will give you all”, he says

Despite his illness, he takes us around his room, introducing his artworks. He smiles and says: “When I was young, I was scared of old men. Now, I am old and ill but luckily you old colonel and youth come to see me. I am so happy!”
Suddenly, he sits down to the easel, looking at the painting “Spring” (Mua Xuan) under creation and shining with extraordinary gestures. Getting the right type of color, he picks up the brush and portrays with flying lines that make the hand of the girl much livelier.

He says: “I worship the Western painting. But in order to become a Vietnamese artist, I must filter the world with my own emotions and creation in each artwork. Only then does the painting become my own.” After finishing, he signs in the painting and offers it as a present to the program “Souvenirs of soldiers to the South”

As a member of Vietnam's generation of senior artists, Nhan has encompassed the drama of the national struggles for independence as well as the gentleness and universality of the female nude. Working with oils, gouache and ink, Nhan has echoed Vietnam's passage through time, from early impressionism through socialist realism to the unique blend of East and West.



Master lecturer Hanoi Industrial Fine Arts College 
Laureate of Vienna Biennale Vienna, Austria 
Participated in solo and group exhibitions Vietnam, China, Eastern and Western Europe 
Born Lau Thuong, Vietnam 
Studied under To Ngoc Van, the master of Vietnamese oil painting 
Awarded 3rd prize, 3rd Nat'l Exhib. of Fine Arts Vietnam

Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Art, Wilfrid Israel Museum
Mekong Magic, Jerusalem Theater Israel
3rd National Exhibition of Fine Arts (3rd prize), Vietnam



Don Thuan – Translated by Van Hanh

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