Hoang Tich Chu & Nguyen Tien Chung – « La moyenne région »
It is indeed rare to encounter such a work in 20th century Vietnamese painting. Both great painters graduated from the School of Fine Arts of Hanoi in the 11th class (1936-1941) and collaborated on another previous lacquer work – The Bay of Along executed the same year (1942) as the present lot.
The execution of a joint work, might not be unique, but it certainly remains exceptional. In 1942, these two artists were in the full force and peak of their talent. In this work, they both related the same way to this majestic and mysterious mountainous Tonkin, which Victor Tardieu and Joseph Inguimberty always encouraged students of the Beaux-Arts to go admire.
The sugar loaf mountains, such as those found in this region are magnified, as well as the vegetation, by an abundant use of gold lacquer in contrast to the rather dark atmosphere of the rice fields.
The double signature in Romanised letters was different to other luminary artists such as Tran Van Can (1910-1994), Nguyen Khang (1911-1989) and Pham Hau (1903-1995) in that the signatures usually were in Sino-Vietnamese. The egalitarian format found in the signatures of the two painters shows that they brought the same amount of work to both the conception and the realization of the work.
This poetic and lyrical scene is executed with precision. The perfect technique acquired by both masters will be pursued throughout their lives celebrating beauty and inspiring serenity.
The work reminds of the poetic words of Madame de Thanh Quan :
I stop and gaze at the sky, the mounts and the waters: My intimate thoughts remain alone with myself.Madame de Thanh Quan