There is currently an exhibition of twenty-four ink wash paintings by Aleksandr Zhuravlev at the Peony & Iris art gallery in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. The exhibition, titled ‘Breath of Brush,’ will run until Sunday.

Being his first display in Vietnam, it has attracted a lot of attention from the public.

Passionate interest in East Asian culture

As a youngster, Zhuravlev had a fondness for painting. He used to draw cartoon characters, animals, and portraits of his friends and relatives.

A few years ago, he developed a passion for Wing Chun, a concept-based martial art from China, which led him to learn more about Chinese culture and philosophy.

He joined cultural clubs in Moscow to gain knowledge about the art of the tea ceremony, Qigong (a system of coordinated body-posture and movement, breathing, and meditation), as well as painting and calligraphy.

Starting from the year 2000, Zhuravlev began studying Chinese calligraphy and different painting styles. Alongside, he also practiced Wing Chun with Vietnamese martial arts master Tran Hau Tuan.

His love for art has led him to become a teacher of Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Many of his artworks now reside in private collections in Russia, China, the United States, Italy, Austria, Britain, and Vietnam.

Destined for East Asian culture

Zhuravlev has regularly visited Vietnam and made friends with several Wing Chun students, including Phung Thi Thu Thuy, the owner of the Peony & Iris art gallery, who helped him organize the ‘Breath of Brush’ exhibition.

Ink wash paintings and calligraphy have a strong magnetism for Zhuravlev and have inspired artists worldwide.

Through his ink wash paintings and calligraphic works, he can clearly express his emotions and experiences.

Spreading joy and positivity

Among the 24 paintings exhibited in Vietnam, some were created by Zhuravlev seven or eight years ago.

His art celebrates happiness and positivity, focusing on depicting the traditional beauty, family relationships, and friendships found in East Asian culture.

He quoted a proverb by novelist Dostoevsky, saying, “beauty will save the world.” Zhuravlev hopes that visitors to the exhibition will always be happy and enjoy a peaceful life.

Tuan, a Vietnamese martial arts master, remarked that Zhuravlev has a soul for art and is continuously learning artistic skills.

Thuy, the gallery owner, shared her surprise that a Russian artist could capture the beauty and tradition of East Asia through paintings of peonies, rabbits, cats, and sunflowers.

Here are some of the paintings by Aleksandr Zhuravlev displayed at the ongoing exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City: