Hau Tran Luu
Tran Luu Hau is one of the leading masters in the contemporary Vietnamese art scene. Born in 1928 in Ninh Binh, his art is a rich reflection of the styles, traditions, and upheavals that he experienced in his long career.
Tran Luu Hau is among the 22 painters trained in Khang Chien (Resistance) style, of the Vietnam Fine Arts School, created in 1949 by the master painter To Ngoc Van. Unusually for a Vietnamese artist, he has traveled widely throughout his career. He studied art and theatre design Surikov Fine Art Institute in Moscow for 7 years and is fully conversant with European and American art. In 1990 he spent two months in Paris which culminated in an exhibition at Vietnam House. Upon his return, he taught at the Hanoi University of Fine Arts until 1989. This was a period that was defined by the political, landscape and theatre & performance artworks he produced.
“When I paint, I only think about conveying my feelings…As I get older, I find my real self in my art.” Drawing his inspiration earlier from various post-impressionists and expressionist artists, including Matisse, Soutine, De Kooning, Kline, and Pollock, Hau later continued with his own aesthetic experimentations, distilling realities into forms and colors through his personal expression. His preferred subjects have been still life bursting with the “essence” of flowers, elegant female nudes and landscapes from the Vietnamese landscape, in particular, his favorite mountain retreat Sapa, where he would isolate himself to paint for months. His work expresses his emotions in its ‘subjective deformation of nature’. Hau believes an artist must capture the spirit of the sense and not bury him or herself in details. He, like the masters before him, are interested in the emotional unity of their work rather than its faithfulness to external reality and as Hau once said: “What is important is to express one’s emotions”. Tran’s works have received numerous rewards, they are widely exhibited and collected internationally.