Painted in 1964, Jeune femme couchée (Lot 6202) already revealed the artist’s ability to create a space of poetic intimacy. In the work, a woman disrobed of her aodai is wearing nothing else but silk pants and covering her chest with a fan. Despite the perfunctory pretence at Confucian modesty, Mai Trung Thu created one of his most erotic works in Jeune femme couchée. After personally reviewing hundreds of the artist’s works I can say that very few present an intentional equivocal scene of such assertiveness. He painted the background red, a colour associated with passion in European symbolism, and also depicted a vase, a metaphor full of innuendo. In the same vein, the curtains, frequently seen in Vietnamese portraits of ancestors, now emphasise the beholder’s voyeurism.

Catalog Note by Nicolas Henni-Trinh Duc

在此之前兩年,即 1964 年,《橫臥仕女》 (拍品編號 6202)就已經展示了藝術家營造空間詩意和親密感的能力。《橫臥仕女》中的女郎脫下奧黛、只穿著絲綢褲,用扇子遮在胸前,可說是藝術家最富情色意味的畫作。我看過枚中栨的數百幅作品,卻很少看到這樣刻意地擺出模棱兩可姿態的作品。他以紅色作背景,那是歐洲象徵主義中代表激情的顏色,此外還一個盌,這是一個語帶雙關的隱喻。而畫中所見的窗簾,通常用於越南傳統的祖先肖像中,現在卻成了旁觀者偷窺的暗示。

文/ Nicolas Henni-Trinh Duc