Lacquer is an art that combines two professions: Craftsman and painter. In terms of technique, the quality of the craftsman is needed, and the expression (forming) needs the quality of the painter. In general, in lacquer villages from north to south, it can be seen that the technique is easily framed in a standard, imitates each other, or is led by the market, difficult to create new nuances. In return, the village technique is maintained, the workers attach eggs, trim bamboo leaves … can be called super, they do it very right, very quickly, very methodically. Lacquer painters like Tran Tuan Long are the collaboration between workers and artists, to create lacquer works with patches, near and far, strokes, thicknesses, proportions… that are cared for in space. complete layout. As a descendant of the late lacquer painter Tran Tuan Lan (Quang Ninh) – who trained the painter movement for mining workers – since childhood, painter Tran Tuan Long has had access to lacquer, following in his father’s footsteps, and now become famous especially in the field of the subject of the dong and the portrayal.
Pursuing lacquer art during the difficult period of the country (the 1990s), what was the stage of your composition at that time?
I worked as a hired worker, doing enough jobs for my teachers, senior painters, to get money to buy materials and make ends meet. My income at that time was based on a hired job, then spent time, for example, working day and night, composing, doing what I loved, pursuing my chosen topic without depending on anyone.
What is your favorite subject in lacquer?
I draw about the ritual on the field, the altars in the worship of Mother Goddesses.
The practice of the horoscope in the past was not popular, banned, what made you pursue this sensitive topic?
The Mother Goddess religion honors human gods and historical figures who are all heroes of national defense and charity, and also synthesizes many artistic fields, including poetry, music, and wine and medicine. , betel nut … are all elegant pleasures to dance, fashion, even installation art. At that time, my works were not recognized, and participating in exhibitions was disqualified from the outside because it was considered superstitious propaganda. But I urge myself in my heart, no matter how difficult life is, I still want to convey the beauty of Mother Goddess worship through lacquer art. Every year, besides drawing topics for a living, I spend time drawing Hau dong, there are only one picture in a year, I draw it and then put it away.
According to very expensive paint materials, between passion and rice, has reality ever made you discouraged?
I never give up, no matter how hard it is, I don’t give up. The market has many places to quickly transfer Japanese paint, sell a lot, popular topics, girls wearing hats, girls, shepherds… selling well. I do not follow that spiral, nor am I torn internally or too stressed about having to get rich, having to make money. My paintings sometimes sell, just sad that the topic I like has not been recognized. But I took it as an experience, and the pretext helped me put together a collection of 26 paintings, opening my first solo exhibition in 19 years (starting in 1998). My debut exhibition is called Holy Cross.
In the history of art, when making art in service of belief, the performer often does it with the attitude of giving his whole heart to the worshiper, how about you?
I am an art person, I use art to express the beauty of the whole, from the face, the spirit, the spirit, and the sacredness into my work.
Between artistic activities and spiritual issues, have you ever thought of being “converted”?
No, I don’t think at all! I followed my own advice, no expectations, no expectations. From UNESCO’s recognition of the practice of Mother Worship, to being allowed to exhibit and succeed, I take it all in with calm and lightness.
When drawing the theme of the holy service, there are 36 copper prices, so who do you usually (favorite) choose among the holy crosses to include in your work?
The flavors in the work are all random, but most of them are adoration. Because the adoration stands often have colorful, fashionable clothes, beautiful motifs, many kinds of scarves, classes and classes, I draw the most. Less goods. In the question, there are always towels, clothes, jewelry, decorative patterns… I also like the details on it and make the most of lacquer painting.
Currently, there are many people who “divine” paint us, too important to paint us. What is your opinion about our paint?
I consider it to be my forte material, every material has its own merits and demerits, because I use it a lot, and it suits my abilities. I have loved painting ta since childhood, so I don’t like any other materials. I consider it a coincidence. Paint requires patience, meticulousness, not in a hurry, to release the pen, to fly like fast, compact, cheap materials that are easy to mass produce. Son we made a mistake in the process, one detail is to destroy the previous results, the more we do, the more we do not allow ourselves to be wrong, because wrong is paying with effort, money, time and emotions.
You just had a 2nd solo exhibition, also with the topic of the dong, what is the difference in the way you express yourself in your new works?
This 2nd exhibition I named Van Duthe holy fairies often go in the clouds to the wind, and from Van Du in literature also quite a lot. This exhibition is much different from the exhibition Holy Cross, here I solve the problem of space, create a harmony between the characters – the bronze subject and the smoke incense, religious images, ancient features in folk paintings about serving saints… I want to erase the boundaries. world, capturing the moment of interwoven space between reality and harmony, in the language of art. I use the method of smoke incense to create an illusory domain.
It is known that he is also a rare person who succeeds in portrait lacquer, a difficult technique. Can you share about this topic?
When I first started my career, I also sometimes painted portraits with lacquer, then there was a time when I painted a lot of legends to earn a living. When I researched on the topic of homage, I took care to describe the face and spirit very carefully so that it exudes the style of saints when descending to bronze. Those experiences and experiences are the foundation, so when painting portraits, everything is simple because they are complementary and supportive of each other.
Overcoming the turbulent times to have success like today, what excites you the most?
The wholehearted support of his wife. During times of poverty, my wife was the one who raised me and took care of the whole family, she gave me money for daily expenses, and still supported me in composing. In difficult times, every morning I get 20,000 VND for breakfast, I secretly fast, spend money to buy music, because I love rock, idol Pink Floyd. Sick and sobbing, but whenever I listen to Pink Floyd and drink tea, I get better. My wife is an outsider, but each composition helps me to feel the beauty, helps me calm down and adjust to the work better, she is the one who paints with me in mind.