The exhibition, named ‘Timeless Souls: Beyond the Voyage – Hon Xua Ben La’, featured over 50 works by Le Thi Luu, Le Pho, Mai Trung Thu and Vu Cao Dam, the four renowned early generation graduates from the École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine (EBAI) who migrated to France in early the 20th century.

Ace Le, an independent researcher and writer on Vietnamese art who was selected by Sotheby’s to co-curate this public exhibition, this is a unique exhibition for Sotheby’s itself, as the auction house mainly organises non-selling ones in Europe. Normally, Sotheby’s only exhibits when they buy and sell artworks.

“We are proud to stage Sotheby’s very first exhibition in Vietnam, in the vibrant town of Ho Chi Minh City, where we hope to reconnect the public with its rich cultural heritage through these exceptional and local works of art,” said Nathan Drahi, Managing Director, Sotheby’s Asia.

Ace Le said that international statistics show that Vietnam is the best-growing art market in Southeast Asia.

This exhibition is its strategic investment into the country, said Ace Le. “The exhibition is held to pay tribute to fine art history and Vietnamese collectors and fine art lovers”.

“I hope that the exhibition will contribute to opening the door for international auction houses. They will recognise the benefit of cooperation with Vietnamese experts to develop the Vietnamese painting market,” he added.

Sharing the same view, painter Le Thiet Cuong said that the move of Sotheby’s will have a good effect, making other famous auction houses such as Christie’s not be able to stay still.