The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism opened an exhibition featuring Vietnamese lacquer paintings in Moscow on May 23 as part of activities within the “Vietnamese Culture Days in Russia 2019” from May 21-28.
Thirty paintings introduce special artistic values of Vietnamese lacquer paintings and the development path of the Vietnamese lacquer art.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Ma The Anh, Vice Director of the Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that lacquer is the unique fine art material of Vietnam.
Russian Deputy Minister of Culture Pavel Stepanov showed his delight to attend the cultural event with great significance to people of both countries.
He read Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinski’s letter welcoming the Vietnamese Culture Days in Russia, which states that the cultural cooperation between the two countries is an important factor of the Russia-Vietnam strategic partnership, bringing people of both countries closer together.
Along with the paintings, participants at the event also enjoyed folk music of Vietnam and Russia.
Son mai comprises two words son (lacquer) and mai (grind) which relate to the material and process used to make a son mai painting (a lacquer painting).
Vietnamese people had been using resin from the lacquer tree to make crafts and valuable objects for hundreds of years, including objects of religious value.
Vietnamese lacquer paintings are covered and ground many times with lacquer resin before the artist inlays crushed egg shells, gold, silver and other materials.
The first Vietnamese lacquer paintings were made by students at École Superieure des Beaux Arts de I’Indochine (Indochina Fine Art Colleges) in the 1930s.
Over the years, Vietnamese lacquer masters reached milestones in developing traditional crafts towards artistic creativity.