Home Painting Nguyen Thi Mai

Nguyen Thi Mai

Featured artist in MADS Magazine issue No.4. View all the artworks in the embedded Issuu browser below. Would you like to have your own copy at home? Follow the link at the end and head over to Blurb. Limited to only 500 copies per issue. Order yours today and start collecting.

761
0
© Nguyen Thi Mai - Best Friends
Best Friends

Painting to you means beauty. Beauty through balance – the balance of colours, shapes and emotions. Painting is both an expression of, and a balm for, my emotions.

When I paint I am at peace. Tranquillity washes all over me and I forget everything that is negative in my life. It is therapeutic.

A brush is not just a tool that liberates, but an extension of me – not only of my hand but of my spirit and my soul.

Through my art, I advocate, and also seek, balance and harmony. Balance and harmony not only on the canvas but more importantly, within me. When a pendulum reaches the extremes, it seeks the centre. Through balance, we have harmony. Through harmony, we have peace. And through peace, we have happiness.

Nguyen Thi Mai – Creating art with emotions
I discovered art relatively late – in my late 30s. When I returned to Hanoi in 2004 after 5 years of living and working in Singapore, I stumbled upon an art club in the Vietnam-Soviet Cultural Palace. My journey in art thus began.

What started off as a casual pastime became a full-time passion because of the encouragement and support from family members.
I started off with the most conventional of medium – oil and acrylic on canvas, enchanted by and drawing inspirations from modern art. Over the years, folk art and tribal art also became major inspirations as my art identifies itself more and more with these genres.

As a Vietnamese artist, it would be remiss of me not to explore lacquer painting, the most traditional of Vietnamese art, and which I did from 2010 to 2015.

But I was not contented to follow a well-trodden path and wanted to create something different, something that would break new ground – and so I employed a different technique to do my lacquer painting, resulting in a matte look instead of the glossy finishing that’s so prevalent. I feel this gives my lacquer painting a much more refined look, with an understated sense of elegance. I call this Unpolished Lacquer.

Currently, I am back to creating through acrylic on canvas and I am trying to transplant the same technique from my lacquer painting to my acrylic painting. This is done through applying many layers of diluted paint onto the canvas to give the paintings a more surreal look.

Besides acrylic and lacquer, I have also channelled my creativity through other media, such as silk painting, ink on paper, etc. Silk painting is especially alluring to me because of the visual effect of this medium – charming, soft, elegant and surreal.

As a self-taught artist, I may have faced certain limitations in the beginning, but this is more than offset by the freedom in thoughts and the lessened need to follow convention.

My art is very much driven by my emotions… and my emotions are influenced by the sounds I hear, the sights I see, and my deep appreciation for tradition and beauty.

My artwork reflects my desire for a better and happier world, one in which people of all creeds and ethnicity can live together in harmony and peace. It reflects my yearning for the simpler time of years past, and to eschew an “economy before everything else” approach to life.

Through my art, I advocate, and also seek, balance and harmony. Balance and harmony not only on the canvas but more importantly, within me. When a pendulum reaches the extremes, it seeks the centre. Through balance, we have harmony. Through harmony, we have peace. And through peace, we have happiness.

I have worked with various different media, but there are three common ingredients that always influence my work: colours, music and the feminine form.

With colours, I use neutral and rustic colours, to symbolize the old and simple things in life. Colours that are found in antique pieces like ceramic wares, wooden artefacts and stonewares are commonly used in my work.

Through music, I gain creative energy and inspiration and is reflected in the colour patterns in my work. The hardness of rock music would be manifested by deep contrasting colours like red and black. Love ballads might lead to a softer tone and a more harmonious blending of colours.

As a woman, I am proud of the role women play in the world and this pride is manifested in the liberal use of the feminine form in my paintings. The curvaceous shape and beauty of the feminine form also inspire me to include similar curves in my art.
Visual art is also first and foremost about aesthetics and beauty. Through my art, I seek beauty. Beauty in the colours, the shapes, the lines and most importantly, in the balance and harmony created by the interplay of all these different elements.

Finding the right audience and showing the artwork to them is probably one of the biggest issues facing most artists today – the sheer volume of artists and artwork out there makes it extremely difficult for an artist to be noticed.

Under such adverse conditions, it is very difficult for artists to stay true to themselves and their art. It is just so tempting to follow the trend, especially if it’s a trend that brings in sales. How this issue is dealt with is a decision each artist must make for himself or herself – there’s really no right or wrong.

My personal journey in art will continue wherever my emotions take me. I invite all of you to come along on my artistic journey and to experience the ups and downs of my emotions through my paintings…

 

Front cover MADS Issue No.4
Cover Issue No.4 – Click to BUY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.