One of Vietnam's most well known artists, Nguyen Thanh Binh was born in 1954 in Hanoi, and is now based in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). He graduated from the Hanoi College of Fine Art in 1972, and went on to specialize in oil painting at the Gia Dinh National College of Fine Art in Ho Chi Minh City.
Thanh Binh is well known for his works depicting female figures wearing the white Ao Dai dress. He also draws his inspiration from classical music and his daughter, a ballerina. He says: “Fine Art is not about philosophy or literature, but about music”.
Another source of inspiration is Japanese poetry. As a Haiku poem where a few lines can carry a lot of meaning, his paintings unveil meaningful images executed in simple, but poignant brush strokes. “A Haiku is a very small poem containing only three lines, but it’s meaning is enormous. Paintings can also convey an immense significance with few colours and details. The objects may be condensed, but the entire meaning is large and significant”, says the artist. He continues: “I do not try to follow any trends - I am just searching for beauty as I see it, a beauty for everyone”.
His paintings are poetic and perhaps romantic, and at the same time carefully observed and boldly executed. His use of space is a very significant factor and an integral part of his works. His limited use of colour is equally characteristic of his work, featuring white, brown, beige, and grey as his signature tones.
Thanh Binh has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Vietnam, as well as in group exhibitions in France (1991, Paris), Hong Kong (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003), Singapore (1996, 2000), Japan (1996), South Korea, Great Britain (1998, London), USA (1998, 1999 USA (1998, 1999, 2001), Australia (1999), and Thailand (2004).