The exhibition takes as its preamble a line from the poem A Soldier Speaks of His Generation (1973): “…our generation has never slept”. Expressing the profundity of experiencing war and its enduring effects on the human psyche, the phrase is an entry point from which the presentation can be read and accessed.
The focus of the exhibition are the works of eight key artists who were assigned to the front as war artists by the government in Hanoi, including Huynh Phuong Dong, Pham Luc, Nguyen Thanh Chau, Huy Toan, Pham Thanh Tam, Huynh Van Thuan, Le Tri Dung and Van Da.
With 200 works including drawings, woodcuts, posters and paintings on display, along with excerpts of poems and memoirs, the exhibition showcases the activities reflected in the thoughts and views of wartime artists, which partly reflects the conflict between artistic activities and the ferocity of war.
Through the works on display, viewers can also feel the difficulties of a generation of wartime artists and the efforts to rise from the ruins of war.
This is the fourth exhibition of artworks taken from the collection of Dato’ N Parameswaran, which includes 1,208 wartime artworks. Among of them, there are 858 drawings in various media, 143 hand-painted posters, 74 printed posters, 74 woodcuts, 46 photographs and 13 paintings.
The exhibition runs until June 1, 2020.
Previously, in 2015-2016, the NUS Museum also held an exhibition on Vietnamese history from 1954 to 1975.