Wancher Voyage

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

Dream Pen Son Mai by Master Pham Chinh Trung is hand-crafted with the Vietnamese Son Mai technique on the base of an ebonite fountain pen.

To Master Pham Chinh Trung's surprise, crafting Son Mai on a fountain pen is far more difficult and challenging than what he has been doing with a painting on large canvases. However, it has been an interesting and rewarding experience, because after months of process, now we can enjoy seeing how beautifully the traditional art and craftsmanship of Vietnam is conveyed through a writing instrument. 

The Landscape Of Vietnam Collection

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.

Section

Back to Wancher Voyage

Back to Wancher Voyage x Vietnam

Section

Son Mai by PHAM CHINH TRUNG