Son Mai by PHAM CHINH TRUNG
About Master Pham Chinh Trung
In the first days coming to Vietnam, we are honored and lucky enough to meet with master Pham Chinh Trung, who has spent almost 50 years mastering the Son Mai (Sơn Mài) art. Despite being a famous painter, master Pham Chinh Trung welcomed us with such a humble spirit and helped us understand more about this beautiful art.
- Born in Hanoi, Vietnam
- 50 years hands-on experience with Son Mai painting
- 1978 graduated from Ha Noi Industrial Arts University - Former professor at Ha Noi Industrial Arts University, Traditional Lacquer Arts Department
- 1985, 1995: National Exhibitions of Fine Arts held in Ha Noi
- 1993, 1995, 2003, 2008: Solo Son Mai Painting Exhibitions held in Ha Noi
- 2011: Group Lacquer Painting Exhibition held in Ho Chi Minh
- 2021: Featured in "Why Sơn Mài Painting Is So Expensive" episode by Business Insider
According to master Pham Chinh Trung, though Son Mai has its own rules in the application, it also depends a lot on the skills, experiences, and dedication of the artist. Surprisingly, the key factor of Son Mai, sometimes, is luck.
The reason for that lies in Son Mai's most crucial step - the final sanding/grounding to reveal the underneath painting details. In some cases, even for the most experienced Son Mai artist, this pure luck can turn the art into something greater than the artist's original idea, or the complete opposite, where the artist can only start all over again.
Therefore, to master this art form, the artist not only has to learn and master the techniques but also needs to have tremendous patience to improve the artwork over a long time.
One of Master Pham Chinh Trung’s artworks before and after sanding
Since the first stop - Wajima, our Voyage has expanded to various regions across Japan, each with a distinctive lacquer art developed through thousands of years.
Sometimes, our artisans even challenge with new materials such as glass, titanium, or even natural leaves (Kiei Urushi).
About Master Pham Chinh Trung's techniques
Each fountain pen carries the signature style of Master Pham Chinh Trung, where the familiar scenery from the countryside of Vietnam is illustrated using only the main colors of Son Mai such as Black, Red, and Green in combination with gold powder.
Every single fountain pen in this collection is crafted with the original idea and imagination of Master Pham Chinh Trung. Most of the designs here are limited to only 1 piece each and might never come back in the future.
A Breath of Summer
Using the three signature elements of landscape portrait: flower, bird, and tree/field, Master Pham Chinh Trung has brought us a new collection: A Breath of Summer. Ten distinguished pens - each with a one-of-a-kind look - are Master Pham Chinh Trung's dedication to delivering the distinctive and beautiful scenery of Vietnam's summer through the art of Son Mai.
The Landscape Of Vietnam
These five are the first in the Wancher Voyage x Vietnam collection, marking another milestone in our journey of discovering traditional arts around the world. Featuring the iconic motifs from beautiful landscapes around Vietnam, each edition is an illustration of the atmosphere, the scenery as well as the people living here.
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