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 Hai Minh Pham  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: Viet Nam      Known for: Figure, genre painting, calligraphy

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Minh Hai Pham
An example of work by Pham Minh Hai
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Pham Minh Hai (b. 1953, Lang Son city, near the Chinese border in far Northeast Vietnam)

He was graduated from Hanoi Fine Arts University in 1977.  He is working as a designer at the "Van Nghe" (Literature and Art) Magazine in Hanoi, and is well-known for his illustrations of Vietnamese women.

Pham has painted from abstract and realistic paintings to calligraphy. He produced small works for years.  Then he started painting large formats on paper, but also canvas and lacquer which suited him perfectly.  In larger works, he can be more daring, using brighter colors, more interesting shapes and more striking images.  Rather than transferring his customary motifs, lines, styles and colour schemes to the larger formats, he simply expanded his imagination to fill this newly acquired space.  Thick strokes of paint and vivid hues illuminate his works standing out coherently and optimistically.

In addition to be fond of old and strange themes, such as his usual small gouache works on paper evoking traditional Vietnamese folk art and village temple festivals, or large abstract oils on canvas, he shows a great passion in depicting Vietnamese women and their inmost feelings through a series of highly realistic portraits.  His women portraits are painted with precision, accuracy, and with the desire to capture their emotions in a frozen moment.

According to the artist, most Vietnamese painters have forsaken the art of portraiture in favor of caricature or stylized portraits.  As he explains, "since the days of the prestigious Indochina Fine Arts College funded by the French artist Victor Tardieu, and from which many famous Vietnamese painters were trained, inspired and driven in their creation, only very few artists painted portraits which enhance the beauty of the Vietnamese women in their traditional style of clothing".

His nude works are mixing sensuality and melancholy with a wide range of descriptions of the woman, and the gracious and tender beauty of female body is disclosed with harmony, preciseness and delicate contours.

Also, his canvas, paper and more recently lacquer paintings of landscape, with small groups of people at the edge of the picture and the rest of space for houses and big trees, attract viewers with bright mixture of colour shown in an abstract way which are like those in a dream, creating a reality in the emotional subconsciousness.  His style is spontaneous and harmonious. 

Lucien Forget, collector of the artist's work

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