A novel tradition
Bui Huu Hung
Many years ago, while visiting a friend of mine, I was truck with surprise when I saw in his living-room a large lacquer painting several teenage girls in their traditional dress. What a beautiful painting! I looked very ancient, with subjects apparently from folk stories, in the dim, diffused light of pagodas and temples. I was told on this occasion that the author was artist Bui Huu Hung.
The painting unrelentingly obsessed me afterwards, which urged me to try to meet Hung. It was not until 1997 that I was able to see him. It was almost incredible when a very young painter stood before me, so unaffected and simple, quite contrary to the image I had pictured in my mind. We have become close friends since then.
‘My grandfather often began his story thus : “Once upon a time, in a certain village…” . Those are Hung’s words whenever I ask him about some picture that we are admiring together. I heartily thank him then because after each viewing my inspiration seems to be refilled with fresh vigour, a stimulus truly autochthonal , absolutely different from the clamorous, boisterous and modern that surround us day in, day out.
I am very happy to be able to hold an exhibition of his paintings now and grateful to him for this. Allow me to express my sincere thanks to Professor Ngoc Dung, Ms Pham Quang Vinh , Ms Nora Taylor and my colleagues at Apricot Gallery , the friends who help me publish this catalogue. I would also like to warmly thank Mr Stephen McGuinness and Mrs Jacqueline Huong Lim at Plum Blossoms Gallery who have joined our efforts to present artist Bui Huu Hung’s works to art lovers worldwide.
Forework by Ngo Tan Trong Nghia