MAI TRUNG THỨ (1906-1980)
Dàn tranh - dàn cò, 1973
Ink and color on silk, signed and dated lower right, titled, monogrammed and dated on the back. In its original frame made by the artist
61,4 x 46,2 cm - 24 1/8 x 18 1/4 in.
“Music is the language of emotions” wrote Immanuel Kant. Mai Trung Thứ, a Vietnamese artist, shares this sensitivity for music with the Prussian philosopher. He discovered traditional music during his transfer to Hué as a high school art teacher. His stay in the imperial capital heart allowed him to frequent musicians and to practice the độc huyền, -traditional stringed instrument- and the transverse flute. This passion for music will never leave him, since upon his arrival in France he continues to play and participates in concerts especially for radio or television programs.
If painting remains his main activity, it is carried out in music. The choice of his themes is marked and female musicians are regularly represented.
In đàn tranh - đàn cò, the artist represents two other traditional Vietnamese instruments. The young woman plays the Đàn tranh, with 16 plucked strings from the table zither family, while the young man uses a đàn nhị, a two-stringed instrument that appeared in the 10th century.
Created in 1973, this ink and colors on silk illustrates the pictorial evolution of the artist in the latter part of his career. The palette is more vibrant: chrome yellow, anise green and coral orange form a flamboyant composition. These colors are subtly faded to draw a background and create a certain depth.
Through this large-scale work, Mai Trung Thứ provides a testimony to Vietnamese culture and allows traditions to be perpetuated.