STROKE – LUU CONG NHAN

In Luu Cong Nhan’s profile, his place of birth is always written to be in the Lau Thuong village, Hac Tri, Phu Tho and he was a pupil of painter To Ngoc Van. The root of birth place follows him throughout his life, feeding and making the simple, rustic, and charming beauty in his paintings.


As we have already known, in 1950, the Viet Nam Fine Arts College was established in the Viet Bac war zone (Phu Tho) by To Ngoc Van as the principal, teachers were some painters graduated in Indochinese Fine Arts School. Technique as well as the basic knowledge of painting taught by teacher To Ngoc Van and other teachers created a solid foundation for students to develop their talents. The Paris school flourishing in the early twentieth century had illuminated the Indochinese School of Fine Arts (founded in 1924) through the prism of French teachers, then refracted again to Resistance painters through Vietnamese teachers, which were the first students of the school. It can be said that Luu Cong Nhan and some other artists were the most successful "interpreters" of the Paris school into the "Vietnamese language".

The beauty in Luu Cong Nhan’s paintings was always combined of two elements: the charming  "countryside" element, which is simple and rustic, with the pompous, luxury, modern element whether those paintings were painted with oil on canvas or watercolor on paper, whether the  subjects in the paintings were hometown landscape or urban girls.

What is the "artistic identity" of Luu Cong Nhan.

What is fine arts? What constitutes fine arts? They are shapes, colors, arrangements, intensity, materials, subjects, styles, forms, etc. Some people can not approach to fine arts because they do not have these elements. Some people can comes and stays with fine arts because they have one or some of these elements . Some people are good at using color, some are good at form. The strength of Luu Cong Nhan and the most beautiful, remarkable feature of his works lies in his strokes.

To realize the artistic ability of someone, we can find out through his strokes. In the paintings of watercolors and Chinese ink, even just the iron pen, charcoal on paper, the talent of Luu Cong Nhan can always be seen very clear. Sometimes his strokes were thick, sometimes thin, or wet or dry, sometimes they were light, sometimes they were dark, sometimes they fly or suppress, sometimes whisper or yell,  sometimes they exist, sometimes they do not. The opposite pairs of strokes are life, the human life, are lost and found, happy and sad, sadness and happiness, receiving and giving ... always reconcile, the former element exists in the latter element. The beauty of the work of Luu Cong Nhan reminisces of Oriental calligraphy. It is the style of painting method using only one stroke with no repetition stroke. This style is full of improvisation.This requires the painter to stabilize his strokes and at the same time release them. This drawing and sketching style help open up the ability of intuition, sensibility, aestheticism of Luu Cong Nhan. No longer depend on the right or wrong, shape or not, on the subject, he just painted by his emotions. It is the quality, the personality, the style of Luu Cong Nhan, who draws what he feels. Stroke reflects the painter.
Le Thiet Cuong
7.2017