Welcome to Dang Duong Bang's Art
East and West Bridge
I started to paint when I was 6 years old. At the age of 10, every year, I spent 3 months of my summer holiday in my uncle Nguyen Tien Chung's house, in Tay-Ho village, a small village in the north of Hanoi near West-lake. Nguyen Tien Chung was a well-known painter in Vietnam and he was a teacher at Vietnamese Fine-Art School in Hanoi. My uncle was the first person showing me the beauty of art. Thanks to him, I fell deep in love with Vietnamese folk arts, especially the architect structure, and sculptures decorated in the door, gate of ”Dinh”- cultural commune houses. As well as Dong-ho wood cutting.
I was a Biochemistry student of Biology faculty of University of Hanoi during the American War. However, the love for art was still in my hart, I often painted landscapes, still-life and portraits of many my friends in my class and I sometimes copied some of the works of other artists for learning.
I graduated from Hanoi University as biochemist in 1972 and worked as a researcher at the National Hygiene Epidemiology Institute (Pasteur Institute of Hanoi). At that time I followed a private two years drawing evening course organizing for students who want to enter Fine-Art school in Hanoi. The course was given by two Hanoi painters: Pham Viet Song and Nguyen Duc Nung.
In 1974, I learned Vietnamese traditional silk painting techniques from painter Nguyen Phan Chanh, Tran Dong Luong and Dang The Duc. I learned by visiting their ateliers, Showing my works and discussed with them different techniques of Vietnamese traditional silk paintings and modern. In 1974, I was accepted as a member of Hanoi Fine Art Association.
In the seventies, the socialist, realistic or communist styles in art were the only one official accepted in Vietnam. It was forbidden an open mind and new ideas that influenced by western arts. However, in Hanoi at that time, there were many informal meetings, expositions, were arranged among Vietnamese artists for discussing or exchanging new ideas, books in arts. The meetings were held in a private home of one of artists. The house of artist Vu Dan Tan at 30 Hang Bong street in Hanoi (now, it is Natasha Salon) was the most common place for these informal meeting of several artists in Hanoi. In Tan’s house, I met several artists such as Nguyen Tu Nghiem, Bui Xuan Phai, Luu Cong Nhan, Le Tri Dung, Hoang Hong Cam, Nguyen Ding Dung, Van Duong Thanh, Nguyen Xuan Tiep, Do Trong Phan, Poet, painter, musician Van Cao, Trinh cong Son, Director of documentary film Tran Thing and hid wife art critic, collectioner Tham Don Thu; art critic and painter Nguyen Quan; Poet-translator Duong Tuong and many others. I learned a lot from these meetings. In this period I combined the Vietnamese traditional techniques of silk painting with the impressionism using water-color and acrylic on silk to express my fillings. The combination of the two techniques on silk created strong personal feeling and identity in my paintings in this period.
I started to collect Vietnamese paintings since I was a student of Hanoi University as art lover. In 1980, I meet Bui Xuan Phai and in a very short time we become good friends. Phai fascinated with my big collection of his works. He often visited me at home. Each time he visited me, after drinking Vietnamese rice distillated ”Quoc lui” he painted. A number of his paintings in my collection were the gifts from him. We sometimes discussed about arts, literatures and exchange art books. I have big collection of art books and Phai fell deep in love with Soutine’s works. In 1988, I participated in organizing a solo-exposition of Phai’s paintings in five private collections of Hanoi Art lover with the supporting of Hanoi Art association in Hang Buom Street.
In the eighties and nineties, I travelled a lot for my scientific works. I have been in Australia, Denmark, France, Russian, Germany, Netherlands etc… Wherever I have been, I painted and exhibited my works. In this period I was fascinated with the naive beauty and strong color of Children paitings. I learned a lot from children by working together with children in kinder gardens or in primary schools. Recently, I made a self study about my paintings by interview a number of persons, who were different in origin, age, occupation, profession, and as well as religion. In this study I made a catalogue of my paintings. All the painting was untitled, and the interviewers will put a tile for my paintings according to their feelings. Much to my surprise, each interviewer had different ideas and imaginations about my paintings. I have learned a big lesson from this study: "The artist created paintings according to his or her feelings; however the admirers will be a person who completed the paintings".
Friends No. 1 (80x60 cm) Tempera
The sound of silennce No. 15 (80x80 cm) Tempera