This autumn, Le Quy Tong holds his 2nd exhibition, showing to art lovers his collection of 22 large sized paintings on the same city that he always loves – Hanoi. A Hanoi of robust creativity, felt with stronger emotions, yet painted with a more romantic approach. We see a Hanoi clearly on the move, fast speeding its construction sites and flyovers.

Le Quy Tong first entered Vietnam’s art scene with his impressive exhibition at Hanoi’s L’Espace Centre, displaying a collection of large-sized oil on canvas paintings on the Long Bien bridge --- a symbol of Hanoi’s old souls and heritage. Viewers immediately fell in love with his works on both the bridge and the faces of the villagers living on both sides of the river that the bridge connects.  Le Quy Tong, with his mastery technique, through his both bold and graceful strokes, has brought about a new face to Hanoi’s art scene in the early days of the 21st century.


For this collection, Tong no longer feels inspired by the steel beams or the concrete structures of the city’s unique bridge. The main motive for this collection, as he can proudly show to you, is found in the moving rhythms of the wheels, of the round water tanks precariously sitting on top of the city’s old houses. He takes us from one round image to another as seen from different angles of a city on the move. He no longer uses thick layers of oil in his new paintings. Instead, he prefers lighter and more generous strokes for his new collection, because only then he can show the city as if it was dancing out of joy, moving out of the daily pressures of life.


Through most of his new paintings, we see the new face of a modern Hanoi --- the same eyes and face features of a Vietnamese person, but with a new perspective. This, in deed, is what is new about Tong’s painting. He does not want to paint the soul of his beloved city with the traditional approach. He does not want to give it the face of a beautiful but motionless person. Ignoring all unnecessary details, Tong just wants his viewers focus on the deep emotions that lie underneath. As Tong said, he does not intend to picture the faces of people living around him. He just wants to filter, through the glances on these faces, the modern essence of his generation, with all his emotions and sincerity.


The two faces of Tong’s new collection are intertwined, making a Hanoi on the move with lots of improvising surprises and modernity. This is very much needed in a place where most painters love to stick to the nostalgia of ancient Hanoi.


Modern, seducing, bold --- these adjectives best describe the new 2007’ Hanoi collection by Le Quy Tong.