Exhibition of artists’ rain-inspired ceramic paintings opens

Over 40 artworks featured at the NamHoCeramic 2023 exhibition showcase the artist’s adoption of traditional pottery making techniques by artisans from Bát Tràng Pottery Craft Village.


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Ceramic artworks entitled Mùa Mưa (Rain Seasons) by artist Hồ Nam. Photos courtesy of the artist

HÀ NỘI An exhibition displaying artist Hồ Nam’s experiments and creative expressions on ceramic opens tomorrow (December 15) at the exhibition house at 16 Ngô Quyền, Hà Nội.

Over 40 artworks featured at the NamHoCeramic 2023 exhibition showcase the artist’s adoption of traditional pottery making techniques by artisans from Bát Tràng Pottery Craft Village.

Nam said the inspiration for his artworks is rain.

“The rain is a wonderful source of inspiration for creating art and emotions. One can feel the tranquillity of the rain, the sound of water droplets touching objects, the haze and mist in the air, and the cold sensation of the rainy breeze.

“In those rainy moments, images, light, sound and darkness change in a unique way, providing an endless and fascinating source of inspiration for boundless creativity,” he added.

The majority of his ceramic works are created based on clay slabs, which serve as the canvas for shaping the pieces.

“This work is a challenging and addictive process, requiring speed, decisiveness, and keen awareness of timing, to pause and let the clay enter the drying process.

Nam, who did not major in ceramics, graduated from Stroganov University of Industrial Fine Arts in Russia and returned to his home country to work for the University of Industrial Fine Art.

The 54-year-old is currently the chairman of the Applied Fine Arts Council under Vietnamese Fine Arts Society. His works have been displayed at numerous exhibitions in Fine Arts and Applied Arts, both domestically and internationally since 1995.

Besides his main work of lecturing and interior design, he has been fascinated by experimenting on ceramics. In 2012, he won the first award for ceramic artwork in the Applied Fine Arts industry.

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Artist Hồ Nam is creating a piece of art. 

The artist has collaborated with many ceramic specialists nationwide, particularly artisans from Bát Tràng Pottery Craft Village. Artworks for NamHoCeramic 2023, his first solo ceramic exhibition, were created right in the village, tested and supervised at the pottery workshop of silicate engineer Lê Ngọc Thạch.

Utilising the advantages of materials, forms and surfaces is one of the most crucial goals in the artist’s creative process. In each artwork, he combines various materials such as clay, sawdust and sand, and experiments with different surface treatments, constantly challenging them.

“As I work actively and spontaneously with the objects, the surfaces of the products are continuously generated and transformed. It becomes a series of intuitive emotions, a dialogue between the artist, the materials, and the process, all carefully chosen to reach the destination of the beholder’s admiration,” he added.

For Nam, art is proactive and improvised, accidental and ephemeral. With a piece of flattened clay turning into a canvas and then a solid surface, on which the artist freely improvises just like other artists’ work on oil or gouache painting, Nam is making ceramic glaze a new kind of painting medium.

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Artwork Rong Chơi Trong Mưa (Rove in the Rain 1) by artist Hồ Nam. 

According to PhD Lê Thanh Hương from the University of Industrial Fine Art, the exhibition reveals Nam’s various perspectives on artistic ceramics through shaping, space creation, colour, lines and rhythm as expressed in his abstract sculptural ceramic artworks.

“There is no need to set a limit or standard in art; non-stop creativity is the only pathway for all art forms and artists.

“Having achieved numerous successes, Nam unceasingly embarks on new adventures for more explorations and discernment. A fantastic journey is ahead for him to explore, to conquer the myth of ceramic painting, and the most ancient material just turns new and attractive for the artist’s creativity,” she added.

NamHoCeramic 2023 will be open to the public until December 19.

Theo Vietnamnews