The Italian Almanac

Vietnam art

Italian News / Art - July 8

A new exhibition at Rome's Vittoriano complex spotlights one of the rising stars of the world art scene - Vietnam. The show, entitled the Dragon and the Butterfly, features around 100 paintings that give visitors a view of the Oriental nation's art in the 20th century and the latest trends.

The event, which runs until July 16, is the highlight of a Festival of Vietnamese Culture organized by the Province of Rome as part of its wide-ranging Spring Festival. "Rome is acting as a door to apparently distant artistic delights, which globalization is turning into new forms of expression that are increasingly accessible to other cultures," explained Province of Rome Culture Councillor Vincenzo Vita.

Vietnamese painting kicked off in earnest in the first half of the 20th century, when the French colonial rulers founded the Fine Arts College of Indochina (FACI). Since then the nation's art has been under the influence of the former colonial power, as well as to its northern neighbour China. But experts stress that Vietnamese art has managed to emerge from shadows of these cultures, especially in recent decades, to forge an unmistakable national identity. In doing so it has also released creative impulses repressed by centuries of foreign domination.

The curator of the show is Truong Quoc Binh, the director of the Hanoi National Fine Arts Museum, which lent many of the pieces on display. "We Vietnamese consider Italy to be very close to us," said Quoc Binh. "We love its art and other aspects of its culture - in soccer we cheer on the Azzurri".