Ha Tri Hieu


Three country girls


Oil on canvas

43 x 90 cm

In contrast to the common, often over-romanticized depictions of Vietnamese countryside, Ha Tri Hieu’s free-spirited, lyrical, near-Expressionist paintings exude the qualities of a rural soul untouched. The main subject of his work is often the cow sometimes standing alone and stretched out into a tube-like shape, other times pressed into a square and surrounded by farmers or country women. Nowhere can we see any physical signs of a rice field, haystack or communal temple; instead, their presence seems to have been interwoven into the blank space surrounding our protagonist, in gentle shades resembling the simplicity of rural life. In the middle of the canvas, the cow stands proudly as the protector of the people featureless faces with white yawnings instead of mouths from which soar up silent songs. The cow thus embodies the center of life in Hieu’s paintings, reminiscing about a way of life that is fast disappearing in the face of irreversible urbanization. 
(Edited from text excerpts provided by Art Vietnam Gallery)

The work is on permanent display at EMASI Van Phuc, HCMC, Vietnam.