I didn't actually touch the painting with the brush although Phong gave me the chance and challenge when I visited with him in his studio in May ...<br />
<br />
I loved spending time with Phong.  One of my favorite quotes was "Painting to me is blissful ... like falling in love ... "<br />
<br />
Phong shared a picture of his two sons now 13 and 11 (who he adores) with me and was candid when talking about his life and background.  Thuy, his wife of 14 years is a physician and shares his passion for travel and architecture.

Dao Hai Phong

Dao Hai Phong speaks to others using the reflection of his inner self and his personal history through his works. He was born in Hanoi in 1965, the son of Dao Duc (b. 1928), a successful Vietnamese filmmaker, and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Binh, his beloved mother, a former teacher and headmistress of a primary school in Hanoi.

Phong is regarded as one of Vietnam’s most successful contemporary artists to emerge after Doi Moi. He has exhibited extensively since 1993 and is best known for his brilliant landscape paintings depicting villages on the perimeter of Hanoi. His use of effervescent colors, layering and texturing are intentional and bring his peaceful, verdant scenes to life. Phong uses a bold palette to depict scenes reminiscent of his childhood in part to preserve the disappearing cultural geography of his youth. His paintings are full of detail but are usually devoid of people and characterized by a peaceful emptiness. His main medium is oil on canvas.

Like many artists throughout history, Dao Hai Phong uses juxtaposition and disparity in his works, but he is unique in his ability to perfectly balance the contrasts and harmonies within his pieces. Filling the canvas with bold colors, separating large swaths of sky and human structure with defined borders, but also differentiating aspects of the sky and structures using unconventional texturing techniques, creating a blend of the purity of aesthetic and the actuality of what is real.

What makes Dao Hai Phong’s art so enthralling, however, is not his exceptional technical skills or his intrinsic sense of color and texture, but the imponderable way he integrates his own emotions into his works. Both his highs and his lows are wrangled and placed onto his canvases, each helping create a unique work. Like many artists, Dao Hai Phong expresses himself through his art, but unlike many, he does so in a way that allows other people to explore their own feeling and emotions.

Phong paints with a presence that is filled with experience and depth. During the Vietnam war, Phong, along with his sister, was taken to the countryside to live with a generous farm family to avoid the bombing in Hanoi. His mother, a head of school and his father, an acclaimed movie producer and artist, had to stay in the city during the weekdays. One of his fondest memories during that time was of Friday afternoons, when he raced “home” after school to wait on a hill overlooking the dirt road that came from Hanoi in order to catch the first glimpse of his parents coming on bicycle to visit him and his sister for the weekend in the countryside. The love and support he experienced from his tight knit family, the kind and generous attitudes of the farmers who fed and sheltered him, and the physical beauty of the countryside all contributed to his gentle manner and the lasting impressions he carries with him to this day. His artwork represents the vibrancy and the serenity of both the Vietnamese people and of the physical land of Vietnam itself.

Dao Hai Phong has exhibited widely in Vietnam and abroad. His work is collected by enthusiasts all over the world and is regarded as some of the finest among contemporary Vietnamese artists. All works featured by Toriizaka Art are chosen from his private collection and represent his most beloved pieces.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In