298
298
Nguyen Gia Tri
PROVINCIAL VILLAGE 
Estimate
800,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 5,140,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT
298
Nguyen Gia Tri
PROVINCIAL VILLAGE 
Estimate
800,0001,500,000
LOT SOLD. 5,140,000 HKD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art – Day Sale

|
Hong Kong

Nguyen Gia Tri
1908-1993
PROVINCIAL VILLAGE 
Signed and dated Avril 1940  on the reverse 
Lacquer on wood panel, in 6 parts
Each: 93.5 by 33.5 cm; 36 3/4  by 13 1/4  in. (6)
Overall: 93.5 by 201 cm; 36 3/4  by 79 in. 
Executed circa 1940
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Private Collection, USA

Catalogue Note

Considered one of the greatest modern artists of Vietnam, Nguyen Gia Trí was born in 1908 in Ha Dong, in northern Vietnam. Under the guidance of Joseph Inguimberty and Victor Tardieu, Nguyen Gia Tri graduated in 1936 from the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts de l'Indochine, where he learned Western art techniques and assimilated this with Vietnamese lacquer painting, transforming it from a decorative art to a “fine art” medium. Success came early for Nguyen Gia Tri with many highly acclaimed exhibitions and private commissions, such as one that adorned the salon of the French Governor of Indochina Palace in Hanoi.

 

Some of his masterpieces were created in the golden period of his career between 1937 and 1945. The first half of the 20th century was a tumultuous time in Vietnam. The wind of nationalism swept across the country, and like many other intellects at the time, Nguyen Gia Tri joined the movement. He was an important contributor to two newspapers “Phong Hoa” and “Ngay Nay”, which were anti French-controlled government. Many of his works during the golden period of his career centered on beautiful Vietnamese landscapes, which served as expressions of his patriotic sentiments.

 

 “Provincial Village” is a rare lacquer masterpiece that was completed during Nguyen Gia Tri’s golden years. It is a 6 panel lacquer screen that contains all of Nguyen Gia Tri’s unique and well known lacquer elements; colored by the use of different shades of eggshells, red and black resin lacquer and gold pigments that shimmers throughout, resulting in an overall rich, harmonious and pleasing work of art. The painting depicts a distant view of a peaceful village in Vietnam, surrounded by mountains amid clouds, softly lit sky, golden bamboos trees accented by reddish leaves, houses by a gentle river covered with beautiful green banana leaves and lush vegetation. The couple on the left of the painting is resting with their water buffalo after a long work day. A family consisting of a mother and her children are finishing up their tasks before heading home. The central figure is pulling up on his horse nearby the slightly rippling river, enjoying a quiet moment while his horse and dogs drink of water.

 

These images all combine to decorate a picturesque provincial landscape that is eternal yet realistic. It is the unheralded beauty of Vietnam that is in the heart and soul of Nguyen Gia Tri and of the people, a tranquil oasis amid the raging war in Vietnam at the time. In this lacquer masterpiece, the patriotic Nguyen Gia Tri has immortalized the memories of Vietnam for the ages.

 

When looking at the "Provincial Village" by Nguyen Gia Tri, one is reminded of the poet Ba Huyen Thang Quang’s famous poem "Qua Deo Ngang”, an enduring patriotic and lyrical poem consisting of a stanza of 8 lines, 7 words with allegorical elements, which reads:

 

“Qua đèo Ngang”

Bước ti đèo Ngang bóng xế tà, 
C
cây chen đá, lá chen hoa. 
Lom khom d
ưới núi tiu vài chú, 
L
ác đác bên sông ch my nhà. 
Nh
nước, đau lòng con cuc cuc, 
Th
ương nhà, mi ming cái da da. 
D
ng chân đng li: tri, non, nước, 
M
t mnh tình riêng, ta vi ta.

 

Translation:

Over Ngang's Pass"

Approaching Ngang's Pass at softly lit sundown

Foliage among rocks, tender flowers amidst leaves

At the mountain base, the woodcutters stoop

Along the riverbank, few small houses line

The "Nation-bird" cries for its country's fate

The "Family-bird" weeps yearning of his home

Stopping to gaze: heaven, mountains and river

Feel the deepest emotion only I know

Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art – Day Sale

|
Hong Kong