Les rapides de Cho-Bo
Lacquer with gold and silver highlights and crushed mother-of-pearl, signed lower right
99,8 x 199,4 cm - 39 1/4 x 78 1/2 in.
Although lacquer had long been the prerogative of craftsmen, the contributions of the École des beaux-arts de l’Indochine in the 1930s led to a veritable revival and recognition of the art of lacquer as an important technique in modern Vietnamese art. The traditional red and black, enriched with gold and silver of the artist’s early days, were enhanced, in the early 1940s, by a rare blue that brings even greater contrasts with totally new nuances. The lush vegetation of banana leaves, apple blossoms and bamboo emphasizes the tropical nature of Vietnam. Phạm Hậu sublimated these rocky landscapes with turquoise waters populated by junks. Although the theme is similar, here the artist focused on various renderings thanks to an evolving technique. To convey the damp atmosphere that follows the rain, he incorporated mother-of-pearl into the rocks, making them shimmer, and created misty areas at the foot of the mountains. The colours applied are clean and crisp, reinforcing the impression of a scene captured after a storm.
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