Doan Xuan Tang, curators, experts, and your audience recognize you for your work, what goes through your mind when you see your art collections in a gallery?
First of all, it’s always an honor for me to have my painting exhibited and bought by collectors from all over the world. I’m proud of my results and feel thankful to be accepted by art lovers.
Let’s talk about your artworks, the eyes are what strikes me the most, they are somewhat haunting.
How has your country history affected your art pieces?
Our country has had thousands of years of building and defending itself from many enemies. That’s why we have such a diversity of culture and customs. Although we’ve integrated with Western culture, which has created a big change, our roots remain. They survive in my works and the other one work. Most of my paintings are about the Highlands and their inhabitants. I particularly love to paint the eyes because they reflect the souls inside: happy or suffering. They always tell the truth. I tried my best to reveal my views and my opinions about the circle of life, culture and modern life in our time. I believe no matter what the topic is, the artist has to find his will, give voice to his meaning, and most importantly be himself.
Most of your subjects are women, why?
I must confess that they are one of my biggest sources of inspiration! It’s become a bit of an obsession. Grandmas, Mothers, sisters and daughters they are beautiful in so many ways; whether it’s body, character or soul. Women tend to be so caring and hard-working, always trying to build up the family. You have to love and respect them for all of these reasons.
When you are painting women, what do you look for in your subjects?
When I paint women, I’m looking for the beauty not only in their body but also in their soul.
There’s a saying in North America: Beauty fades. In your opinion, what is beauty?
Beauty will fade through time, but the most important thing is that it leaves behind its impression. In my opinion, there are many definitions of beauty, but each beauty must create a lure to something.
The streaks on some of your art pieces break down the ‘beauty’ of your portraits. Why?
I use the streak in my painting to stand for the streamline of time, of the soul. It looks like a veil through which we see the inner beauty of them.
Your choice of colors for some of your art pieces are darker colors while others are colorfulness and bold.
Why did you decide to use dark colors for your landscape art pieces and colors in the Indigenous hill tribes?
Nature always has beautiful vibrant colors. But for me, colorfulness is just the appearance. In my landscape paintings, I want the audience to have deeper feelings. Therefore, I used cold and dark colors with light.
I chose brighter colors in paintings of human to describe their traditional costumes.
How much are you revealing yourself with the choice of color to your audience?
Making art at the end is about being yourself. I paint because of my desire. I must like it and understand it first then I hope that my audience can feel it in their ways. If they can find something for themselves when they see my paintings, that’s great.
What has been your best memory so far for being an artist?
My best memory in my artistic career was what I felt when my very first artwork was exhibited and sold to a collector. I’ll never forget that moment.