An exceptional exhibition of vietnamese paintings presented by Christie’s Paris, 8-13 June 2024

31 May 2024 Off By Jean-François Hubert

The Phoenix Glue and the Broken Silk Thread: Major Vietnamese Works from the Melchior Dejouany Collection”, the exhibition conceived and organized by Christie’s, will be held at its Paris premises, 9 avenue Matignon, 75008, from June 8 to 13, 2024.

Admission is free.

For opening hours, visit 

From Mai Thu to Boi Tran, including Le Pho, Vu Cao Dam, Nguyen Gia Tri, Luong Xuan Nhi and others, eleven exceptional works will be presented, executed between 1935 and 2015 by nine Vietnamese artists – eight men and one woman.

Vu Cao Dam – Le Départ

While the majority of the artists presented are graduates of the École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine in Hanoi, the exhibition is not intended, even if it is imbued with it, to evoke the magnificent institution founded by Victor Tardieu in 1924.

The Phoenix Glue” and “the Broken Silk Thread” are two expressions from KIM-VÂN-KIÊU, the long poem of 3,254 verses written in nôm by Nguyên Du (1765-1820) at the beginning of the 19th century.

It’s a work that every Vietnamese knows, the subject of intense praise or sometimes contestation, but with constant references in all Vietnamese expression.

Kiêu, bruised by life, asks her sister Vân to stand in for her and marry Kim, her promised husband:

“May you with the glue of the phoenix renew the silk thread”, she exhorts him.

The “glue of the phoenix” is the magical material, derived from the bone of the mythological animal, that can reknit “the broken silk thread“, i.e. the marital union.

Glue” refers to lacquer, silk, ink, oil on canvas, gouache, terracotta and chalk. All magical materials used by our artists. Like auspicious phoenixes.

The entire Melchior Dejouany collection celebrates this mythical “glue”.

These materials – so earthly… – guarantee that the cultural union – “the silk thread” – cannot be broken: Art forever unites those who practice and honor it.

Since 1996, Christie’s has consistently promoted Vietnamese art in Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris.

Examples include the conference-exhibition organized in 1999 at its former Paris premises on rue Paul Baudry, and this catalog cover for a silk by Le Pho, now at the National Gallery in Singapore.

In this month of June 2024, it is a rare pleasure to exhibit the subtle works of Melchior Dejouany, inflexible witnesses to an art steeped in grace but also gravity.

An art nourished by all the dialectics of our time, whether undergone or provoked.

Enjoy your visit!

Jean-François Hubert