In Paris, dreaming of Vietnam – Emulation and style kinship during the Parisian period of Lê Phô, Mai-Thu and Vu Cao Dam (1937-1949

Conference at 18:00 p.m. by Anne Fort, Curator in charge of the Southeast Asia and Central Asia collection at the Cernuschi Museum.

On the occasion of the exhibition Lê Phô, Mai-Thu, Vu Cao Dam, Pioneers of Vietnamese art in France, organized at the Cernuschi museum from October 11, 2024 to March 9, 2025, the curator of the exhibition will return to the period which brought the three artists together in Paris where they met from 1937. Until the departure of Vu Cao Dam in 1949, who decided to settle in the south of France, the three comrades, all graduates of the School of Fine Arts of Indochina in Hanoi, will try to make their place on the Parisian artistic scene. This time, unlike in the 1930s, they no longer benefit from the support of the colonial network. From now on, to attract their customers, they developed a style that distinguished them as Vietnamese painters: they practiced painting on silk mounted on cardboard, a technique invented at the Hanoi School of Fine Arts at the end of the 1920s, that no other Western painter has mastered. Their subjects also have a close stylistic kinship: their characters, essentially female, engage in noble occupations, in idyllic, timeless settings, borrowing as much from the Western Renaissance as from Vietnamese tradition.


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