Feb, 2011 - unfortunately this photo doesn't do the painting justice (washes out the color, depth and dimensionality of the piece) since it was taken in florescent bright light ... however, this piece was Dang Phuong Viet's favorite of three that he was invited to exhibited by invitation at the Hanoi 1000 year anniversary celebration.

Dang Phuong Viet

Dang Phuong Viet graduated from Hanoi Fine Arts University with High Distinction in 1999, and has won multiple prizes for his works throughout his career. He was born in 1972, in Hanoi, and his works are fantastic examples of magical realism. Drawing on themes of worship and natural beauty, he expresses exquisite wonder with vibrant colors and textured brushwork. His nickname, ‘Viet Sen’, refers to the fact that he has been painting lotus flowers on his canvases for over 20 years, faithfully expressing the beauty of each one in its own unique way.

In the Buddhist tradition, the lotus is one of the ‘Eight Auspicious Symbols’ – the flower exhibits its glory and beauty on the surface of the water, the stem travels through the water, and the roots grip into the mud. It is often used to explain the process of enlightenment, with different moments of potential and understanding throughout the growth and development of the lotus flower. Dang Phuong Viet places his lotus flowers within the larger context of vibrant, colorful, and diverse worlds – the lotus flower has a wide native range, and has been cultivated for thousands of years.

Dang Phuong Viet is not afraid to break from tradition, however; his lotus plants come in all varieties of colors and shapes, bringing his private worship of Buddhism together with other Buddhist influences, like mandalas, Tantric motifs, and cyclical renewal, and using these ideas to make each lotus unique. In his own words, “Buddha is likened to the lotus. Like a lotus that rises out of a muddy pond, Buddha rose above the defilement and sufferings of life.” As we all struggle with the complexities and difficulties of the world, Dang Phuong Viet offers an interpretation of Buddhism aimed at helping us to understand and be compassionate with ourselves and others through his works.

Dang Phuong Viet has won multiple awards for his works, presenting in group and solo exhibitions around the world. His works have been shown galleries as far as Japan, Italy, Romania, Sweden, Singapore, France, and Korea, and of course his works are highly acclaimed within Vietnam itself. He has received recent awards from Unesco, The Hanoi Fine Arts Association and at the ASEAN Asia Pacific exhibition. His largest work to-date hangs in the Vietnam Ministry of Finance.

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