Retired film star finds solace in oil painting
by Duc Ngoc
Actress Tra Giang, who rose to fame in Viet Nam’s revolutionary cinema, turned to art after her husband died in 1999.
“This is my way to escape being alone and live with art. I’ve never really called myself an artist,” the 64-year-old woman said.
In the 1970s, Giang won acclaim for her portrayal of actresses in such films as Vi Tuyen 17 Ngay Va Dem (Parallel 17 Days and Nights), Chi Tu Hau (Ms Tu Hau) and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai (Heroine Nguyen Thi Minh Khai).
She also won several best actress prizes in national and international film festivals.
Giang is a member of the Huong Co (The Scent of Grass) painting club. Last June, she showed five of her oils that featured the beauty of nature in a show that raised money for Agent Orange victims living in the southern province of Tien Giang.
Her exhibit at the Lotus Gallery in HCM City is a series of 30 oil paintings titled He Ve (Summer Comes) that reflect her internal life and the outside world.
She uses yellow as the dominant colour in paintings of flowers, landscapes and young girls.
“Yellow makes my paintings brighter,” Giang said.
Cheerful and vibrant works such as Hoa Hong (Rose) and Hoa Sen (Lotus) and country landscapes such as Suong Som Ha Giang (Ha Giang Morning Dew), Dao Tuan Chau (Tuan Chau Island) and Song Tra Khuc (Tra Khuc River) are also part of the collection.
Que Me (Motherland) conveys the beauty of a peaceful fisherman’s village with its stretch of white sand and blue sea spreading to the horizon in the central province of Phan Thiet.
Yellow and pink feature predominantly in paintings of Vietnamese girls, including Tram Tu (Meditation), Ao Trang (White Shirt), Tuoi 16 (Sixteen Years Old), and Bich Tra (My Daughter).
Giang’s exhibition runs until August 10 at the Lotus Gallery, 43 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 in HCM City. — VNS
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