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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Phuong Quoc Tri

Phuong Quoc Tri

“The most desirable thing I want in my life is to paint”, says Phuong Quoc Tri.

1976: Born in Phan Rang, Central Vietnam

1988: Left his hometown at the age of 12 for Saigon where he managed to earn a living and continued going to school.

Learn to paint with his father and his uncle – they are also artists.

Not only is he a painter, but also a skillful sculptor.

Phuong Quoc Tri was born in Phan Rang, a small town in the south of central Vietnam. He has been attached to this small town for over 30 years now, since the first day he saw light in this big world. Tri learned the art of painting in his very tender years, from his father and uncle who were making ends meet by teaching art to local people. Like many people in the South of Vietnam after the end of the war , his father and uncle could not find permanent jobs that fit their professional training. They had to make do with running casual art classes and doing graphic paintings for a living. They did not know at that time that their daily work opened a whole new world to young Tri.

Right form the beginning, Tri knew that he wanted to paint, and that passion has never died in him. It may be because of his unique childhood surroundings that Tri has developed a special interest in women, especially nude women, and children --- the people that he met very often when learning art from his father and uncle or helping them to complete their graphic works. They are his neighbors and their children, his relatives and strangers whom he met at the local market. It looks like he wants to enrich his life in his small town by meeting and conversing with as many people as possible on his canvas.

Tri's works always extrude softness and warmth. Like Tri, his characters seem to be very introvert, deep in thoughts and in conversation to themselves. The stillness of his paintings is further promoted by Tri's skillful use of light brown color and milk white color. It is this feeling of calmness that make us want to learn more about them, either through talking to them or simply looking at them.

Like many Vietnamese masters of art , such as Pham Luan and Co Chu Pin, Tri did not have the opportunity to receive professional training from an art university. However, the skills he got from those very close to his heart and the lessons he has gathered from life in a small town have enabled him to travel far in his journey to the art world. The boy from that small town may have grown up, occupied with millions of small and routine things, but his childhood dream of exploring the infinite internal world of people has never died.

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