Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

Lacquer Christ needs restoration

HCM CITY (VNS)— Giang Sinh (The Birth of Jesus), one of the most famous works by renowned artist Nguyen Gia Tri, has suffered considerable wear and tear and needs to be restored.

The lacquer painting, owned by the Mai Khoi Church in HCM City’s District 3, was done in 1941.

Giang Sinh features the newborn Jesus Christ, St Joseph and Lady Maria. High on the right of the painting are winged angels playing music. St Joseph and Lady Maria as well as the three angels are dressed in traditional ao dai.

The painting was sent to France during the war against the French. With help from Catholic priests in France and at the urging of Father Thien Cam of Mai Khoi Church, the painting returned to Viet Nam in the 1960s.

Since then it has been displayed in a chapel at Mai Khoi Church, on Tu Xuong Street. After some damage was noticed recently, the painting has been stored in a room pending restoration.

The painting was restored once in 1990 by a domestic artist commissioned by Tri, Cam said.

Vi Kien Thanh, director of the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibitions, said Tri’s lacquer paintings could be restored.

“Experts with years of experience at the Viet Nam Fine Arts Museum have restored many silk and lacquer paintings by domestic artists in the past years,” said Thanh.

Thanh said the experts were ready to restore Giang Sinh if the church sought their assistance.

Tri was born in 1908 in Ha Noi and died in 1993 in HCM City. A graduated of the 1931-36 class at the Indochina College of Fine Arts (now the Viet Nam Academy of Fine Arts), Tri was known for his mastery of lacquer painting.

In 1989, the Ministry of Culture honoured Tri as one of the 10 painters who had made strong contributions to contemporary art in the country.

In 2012, Tri was presented the prestigious Ho Chi Minh Award by the Government in recognition of his cultural and artistic achievements.

Do Quoc Viet, deputy director of the Viet Nam Fine Arts Museum, said his museum was working to secure the Government’s recognition for Tri’s lacquer works Thieu Nu Trong Vuon (Maidens in the Garden) and Phong Canh ( Landscape) as national treasure.

The lacquer paintings are now on display at an exhibition in Ha Noi along with more than 30 artworks that won last year’s Ho Chi Minh Award. — VNS

By vivian