Nguyen Kim Thai


Hair washing


Oil on canvas

47 x 42 cm

Though Nguyen Kim Thai has explored numerous themes through different media such as oil, gouache, and silk, she has an endless passion for depicting women. The artist often situates female characters in various daily life settings, painting them mostly in their primitive state, free from attire, though not with the intention to depict their loneliness or personal torment. Instead, Kim Thai let women be themselves, presenting them in their own light. She explains: “I don’t like the labels of nude art or nude paintings; I prefer to characterize it as painting the primitive beauty of human beings. I believe that this beauty is timeless, pristine and primordial. All of our heritage originates from that ancient beauty. Hence the saying ‘people are the flowers of the earth’”. 

Kim Thai’s paintings do not focus on capturing volume, and she has even minimized shading and contours to instead elevate the composition and harmony of colors. When painting nude women, she seems to abstain from depicting musculature. Curves and body movements are portrayed through the subject’s posture, brought to the fore on backgrounds that are at times serene, at others punctuated by unconventional bands or swaths of color. Collectively, they create a heightened sense of abstraction for the main subject and enable in viewers the impression that her paintings are truly liberating.