At the age of 70, the artist Hoang Dinh boasts a prolific artistic legacy with hundreds of works. In March 2023, he will commemorate his seventieth birthday with a solo exhibition called “Home 2023”. At this exhibition, Hoang Dinh will tell the story of Hanoi’s streets in his own way.
An abstract expressionist
Hoang Dinh was born in 1953 in Hai Phong. He graduated from the University of Industrial Fine Arts (1980-1985) and obtained a master’s degree in graphic design from Crown University in the Netherlands (1992). He later worked as a lecturer, scientific consultant, and head of the Faculty of Graphic Design – Industrial Styling at Hanoi Open University.
Mr. Dinh has traveled widely to experience the beauty of the countryside. As a result, his paintings are well known for their depictions of nature. Many of his artworks have won major awards, including “Noi dao xa” (The Remote Island), which received the C Prize from the Executive Committee of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association (2014) and the Raffaello International Prize (2018); and “Hoang hon trong rung duoc” (Sunset in the mangrove forest) and “Giai dieu cua tre” (Melody of the bamboo), which earned the Giulio Cesare – Art Emperor International Prize (2018) in Rome.
Upon meeting Mr. Dinh, thanks to his youthful and agile demeanor, it’s hard to believe he is seventy. At over 180cm tall (around five-nine), he appears rather fierce with “a tiger’s beard, swallow’s jaw, and a moth’s brows”. His paintings, however, reveal another Hoang Dinh, who is gentle and romantic, versatile and passionate. The more I learnt about him, the more I appreciated his enthusiasm for art. Few know that even at the ripe old age of seventy, he can still hold a brush for ten hours straight.
This artist works in abstract and surrealist styles. He admitted that he used to paint realistic pictures, but the style lacked adventure and prevented him from reaching his creative peak. Therefore, he now prefers to paint in an abstract expressionist style. Viewers of his paintings are always struck by their moving emotions, sense of lightness, and romance.
A unique story of “Hanoi’s Streets”
Mr. Dinh explained that he wanted to mark each period of his life in a unique way. This time, at the age of seventy, he is holding his fourth solo exhibition with the theme: “Hanoi’s Streets”.
Many artists have painted Hanoi’s Old Quarter, but Hoang Dinh’s paintings depict a very different Hanoi. The familiar small alleys, narrow streets, mossy tiled roofs, and simple people remain, but through Hoang Dinh’s works, from “Binh minh tren pho” (Dawn over the Quarter), “Pho len den” (“Lit-up street”), “Pho binh yen” (“Peaceful quarter”), to “Pho xanh” (“Green quarter”), Hanoi appears in vibrant, rather than subdued, colors. Viewers can almost hear cyclos creaking down the Old Quarter’s deep alleys, or the rustling of yellow leaves around Sword Lake.
All the scenes are dynamic, with rhythmic highs and lows that impact the viewer, converse with them, and entice them into interactions. Details are no longer merely limited to visual cues but are in constant motion, similar to the most fundamental rhythmic components of music and poetry: melody moving with the rhythm. As the painter once said: “Rhythm is the essence of art.”
At the ripe age of seventy, Mr. Dinh still holds the same passion for painting. He will celebrate his artistic accomplishments and the beauty of Hanoi’s streets with the exhibition “Home 2023,” together with his four children. The event will be held at the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum from March 18 to 23, 2023.
Mr. Dinh also hopes to organize a separate exhibition of works depicting the sea, flowers, and more.