Hue lotuses in Le Hoa’s paintings
8/29/2023 8:30:35 AM
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In a late summer afternoon, I climbed up the slope in the western hilly area of Hue to visit an artist.

After the winding slope filled with wild flowers, I found myself going under green shades. Soft breezes gently were meandering between the two lines of bamboos. The road was brightened with the sun. Little houses nestled on the peaceful and quiet hillsides. 

Hue has picturesque streets and residential areas in the suburb. Birds were cooing on red-tiled roofs and window panes of houses of brick without plaster. Seeing a door in the shape of a meditating man behind yellow bamboos, I could tell it was the house I was looking for. 

Le Hoa, his wife Minh Thi and their two boys were putting longans into some small bags. Hue longans grown in the hilly area give thick dry flesh. They are not very sweet but fragrant. We found ourselves in an about-40m2-large room filled with paintings wrapped in foam and placed carefully in order.

“These are paintings for my solo exhibition in August at the Fine Arts Exhibition House in Hanoi, belonging to Vietnam Art Association,” said Hoa merrily. 

Since his graduation from College of Arts, Hue University 15 years ago, Hoa has taken part in many exhibitions, both locally and abroad, and won many awards. His paintings are well noticed by art collectors and viewers.

Born and raised in Hue ancient capital, an art center, Hoa exploits stories imbued with time. His still lives are full of nostalgia. Colors of the past and the present are well combined. He uses a very special deep color tone, characterized with ancient mossy patches, old brick walls, gardens filled with light, poetic rivers, etc. They remind people of the profound beauty of their hometown and are to call for a return.

We believe in the beauty of a pure and fragrant species of flower raised by the lonely dark mud. We pay our respect to the species of flower with thin petals which naturally take refuge in one another passionately. His paintings of lotuses reveal his dreams and insightful observation. In this season, Hue ancient capital is filled with lotuses. Memories of lotuses are the attraction of leaves, flowers and their fragrance pervading in ancient royal mausoleums, temples, palaces and peaceful villages. 

 Le Hoa’s lotuses

I was not very surprised to see his large-sized paintings he prepared for the exhibition, some of which are up to 4 meters long. They were the result of what he had cherished for a long time.

In front of such paintings as “Tam quan,” “Tu dien,” “Vong xua,” “Tiep noi,” it was as if we were returning to our childhood to let our feet “kiss” the ground. “Vu dieu sen,” “Mien hanh phuc,” “Khat vong,” etc., are overflowing with color shades without restriction. Viewers have the feeling that they can even “touch” the quietness which they always want to take refuge in. 

Fifteen years ago, when Hoa was a young student, his first still life of lotuses was bought by a German. Since then, he has been painting hundreds of paintings of various themes in his search for his own style. But his most successful works are those with lotuses. 

“I don’t remember how many lotus paintings I have done. But this time, I want to do something different. I want to renew myself and my paintings. I don’t simply paint flowers, leaves and stalks as they are, but delve deeply into everyday life stories and the profound philosophy which people are facing,’ said Hoa.

My paintings are my sincere emotion to my hometown. Through my paintings of lotuses, I want the viewer to lean toward the truth, the kindness and the beauty.

Looking at his paintings one by one, I admired his concentration and hard labor. His paintings show his well-chosen techniques, and his exclusive character which is worth respecting.

It is now in the middle of the lotus season. Lotuses are also “in bloom” in Hoa’s paintings. They are lotuses of love and hope to be healed and to return.

Le Hoa was born in 1983 in Hue. He graduated from College of Art, Hue University, majoring in Painting. He is a member of Vietnam Fine Arts Association and won the first prize at the exhibition celebrating the Vietnam Traditional Fine Arts Day organized by Thua Thien Hue Fine Arts Association in 2016 and Buu Chi Award in 2017.  He had his paintings displayed in the exhibition in Thailand in December, 2013 and at Holland Destination at Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts in 2014. He also exhibited his paintings at the National Young Fine Arts Festival in Hanoi.