Fine arts joins hands with the community to fight the epidemic

While the country is devoting all its resources to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic, painters and sculptors have made great contributions to the fight against the pandemic through exciting and effective online exhibitions and auctions.

14-year-old painter Xeo Chu held two online auctions to raise funds to buy medical supplies and food.
14-year-old painter Xeo Chu held two online auctions to raise funds to buy medical supplies and food.

“Cay doi mai xanh” (Tree of eternal life) is the name of the exhibition held by Gieo Gao (Sowing Rice) Fund. It is expected to run until August 15 via the forums Vietnam Art Space (VAS), All about Art and Artists (5A) and the personal facebook of painter Ngo Tran Vu. The exhibition was shared widely by painters and fine arts lovers. Its name was chosen as a tribute to a painting by artist Vu Muoi.

As of August 2, the Fund has received VND765 million converted into rice and essential food for 2,139 families living in difficult circumstances in Ho Chi Minh City.

More than 60 painters such as Le Tuong, Nguy Dinh Ha, Nguyen Manh Hung, Le Trieu dien, Binh Nhi, Nguyen Quoc Thang, Dinh Ngoc Thang, Nguyen Hong Quang, Tran Cuong, Ha Hung Dung, Nguyen Duc Huy and Dang Thi Thu An, have sent their beautiful paintings to the exhibition, contributing to raising donations for the Fund.

Over 100 artworks composed of diverse materials, sizes and themes have the common feature of highlighting an optimistic and bright spirit, praising the life’s beauty. In addition to paintings, the exhibition introduces unique sculptures by painter cum artisan Nguyen Tan Phat.

Painter Ngo Tran Vu, a founding member and operator of the Gieo Gao Fund, said: “Since July 9, the exhibition has successfully auctioned 42 works. Thanks to funds from the sale of fine arts works and other donations, we have maintained supports for at least 100 poor families every day. Each donation includes 10 kg of rice and enough food for the whole family for 7 days. The painters participating in the exhibition contribute 50-100% of the sale prices of their works. The paintings and sculptures had been carefully curated from the artists’ latest collections.

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Poster of the exhibition "The Stories of Rivers".

Another exhibition that is a testament to the hearts of art enthusiasts to the community is “The Stories of Rivers” by Song (Living) Foundation. It has significantly contributed to the campaign “Be Strong Vietnam 24/7, with the two main objectives being supporting the front line and donating essential supplies to people living in difficult circumstances in epidemic-hit areas.

Following four auctions on July 24, 25 and 31 and August 1, 17 art works had been sold, earning a total of VND469 million. Via digital platforms, the exhibition featured over 20 paintings by both Vietnamese and international painters, most of whom were active individuals in social work and environmental protection such as Le Dinh Nguyen, Ton That Bang, Doan Hoang Lam, Nguyen Quoc Thai, Nguyen Van The, Pham Binh Chuong, Ngo Binh Nhi, Phuong Binh, Nguyen The Hung, Nguyen Xuan Hoang, Pham Thang, Trung Liem, former Greek Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas D. Kanellos, and Hadi Soesanto from Indonesia.

Previously, an online auction and exhibition themed “"Towards Saigon - Love Connection" was successfully held by the Vietnam Art Space (VAS) from July 17-21, with 24/145 paintings sold. The organising board sent VND415 million collected from the auctions to charity funds for buying food and essential supplies for poor people in Ho Chi Minh City.

Painter Tran Thao Hien, a member of the VAS Management Board said of the criteria for the selection of works: “Each painter submitted 3-7 paintings with the messages of love, happiness and peace to the exhibition. The submissions ensured artistic conditions such as colours, layouts and shapes as well as ease of hanging so that anyone who loves art can buy them. Paintings that do not meet the requirements were disqualified”.

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The painting "The Tree Of Eternal Life" by painter Vu Muoi

In addition, a group of painters formed and operated by painter Vo Tran Chau from Ho Chi Minh has received donations worth over VND1 billion from cultural and arts activities and the sale of paintings. The group has helped people living in difficult circumstances and medical staff on the front line. The group has also helped single moms and poor families with little children.

Painter Vo Tran Chau said due to social distancing and blockades in many places, the packaging, transportation and distribution of gifts has been facing many difficulties. However, all members of the group have determined that the “fight” against the COVID-19 epidemic is still a long one and that help in the later stages is equally urgent, so the group will strictly comply with all regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control and resume operations as soon as life returns to the new normal.

Despite his young age, young artist Xeo Chu (real name Pho Van An, born in 2007) has organised successfully two online auctions, contributing VND2.950 billion to the purchase of medical supplies and equipment to Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University as well as food for doctors and nurses in Tam Anh General Hospital amidst the epidemic.

Painter Le Huy from Hanoi’s Lamphong studio created a statue titled “Dien Bien Child – Vietnamese Child” inspired from the image of a child from Dien Bien Province going to a quarantine area in a baggy protective suit. He also sold over 130 art works to contribute to the Song Foundation.

Online art exhibitions and auctions have been continuously taking place at different scales, aiming to support the medical forces and people living in difficult circumstances.

While many other artistic and theatrical activities are "frozen" due to the epidemic, painters, sculptors and graphic artists can still produce new works at home or in their studios. Despite less visibility compared with direct displays, online exhibitions have made a significant contribution to maintaining the creative source of painters and artists and helping them show their sense of responsibility to the society. In addition, these online exhibitions have brought the arts to the people. If knowledge about painting and artists increases, the demand for owning original paintings for decoration and collection will also increase.

According to an auctioneer, during the past year and a half of COVID-19 epidemic, around 1,500 paintings have been auctioned nationwide, contributing billions of Vietnamese dong to epidemic prevention and control. These works have not only shown artistic value but have also spread beautiful emotions and positive energy while supporting the community and anti-epidemic forces.

Translated by NDO