Exhibition Highlights Father of Hand-Stamping onto Silk Painting – Tu Duyen

Tu Duyen, the creator of the famous "Hand-stamped Print" technique, is a prominent figure in the world of Vietnamese fine arts.


Annam Gallery and Lan Tinh Foundation are organizing a retrospective exhibition of the late artist Tu Duyen, titled “Of Scented Reverie”. The exhibition will showcase 18 artworks, including creations on silk and a series of paintings employing the renowned “Thủ Ấn Họa” technique of the late artist.

Tu Duyen (1915-2012), born Nguyen Van Duyen, is widely recognized under the pseudonym Tu Duyen. His artistic talent and unique creative style have earned him a special place among art collectors.

Artist Tu Duyen was born in 1915 in Bat Trang, Hanoi.

Tu Duyen’s upbringing in the artistic enclave of Bat Trang village greatly influenced his artistic sensibilities. He attended preparatory classes at l’École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine between 1935 and 1938, but had to discontinue his studies in 1939 when his family moved to Saigon.

In 1942, Tu Duyen developed the “Thủ Ấn Họa” technique, an adaptation of traditional Vietnamese woodblock printing. This technique combined with traditional printing allowed him to create different colors using only two blocks.

Tu Duyen’s “Thủ Ấn Họa” artworks gained recognition and refinement in 1950. His first solo exhibition of this series in 1953 marked a significant milestone in his career. In 1955, he received the top prize at the Southern Art Awards for his portrayal of historical figure Tran Binh Trong.

He held his 18th solo exhibition of “Thủ Ấn Họa” paintings in 1996 at Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum. He received several awards and medals for his contributions to Vietnamese literature and arts.

Women wearing ao dai, traditional musical instruments and flowers are always the main themes in the works of late artist Tu Duyen.

Flowers, women, and Vietnamese beauty

The exhibition “Of Scented Reverie” is inspired by the woodblock printing technique used by Tu Duyen. It creates a nostalgic and poetic space, featuring various flowers, beautiful Vietnamese women adorned in traditional Ao Dai, and traditional musical instruments.

The colors in Tu Duyen’s paintings remain vivid and continue to evoke emotions in viewers. The artworks depict the Lotus, Sunflower, Lily, and other floral motifs from different perspectives. The paintings skillfully represent the beauty and elegance of Vietnamese women and their connection to traditional Vietnamese music.

Tu Duyen’s paintings are atmospheric and realistic.

The exhibition will be held from March 2 to 31 at Annam Gallery in Ho Chi Minh City. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of Tu Duyen’s artwork.

Hannah Nguyen