Vietnam Fine Arts Magazine defines abstract as works that “use texture, color, shape, and line to create a visual rhythm that stirs emotions and spirit.” Not bound by any regulations, the artist can create anything on the canvas. Therefore, many audiences think that creating abstract paintings is easy; scribbling a few lines is considered a work. What truth is so simple?

Many outstanding names in Vietnamese art have followed this school, notably Nguyen Gia Tri, Tran Hong Duc, and La Qui Tung. In each brush stroke, the artist puts his thoughts and contemplations, making the viewer feel the weight of each line and composition of the painting. The artist never creates without an idea, whether it’s just the play of colors or the chaos of shapes. Painting, in particular, or art in general, is a bilateral dialogue between the creator and the audience. No matter which school you follow, the desire for ideas to be conveyed is always the final destination.

With a veteran name like La Qui Tung, he understands better than anyone the power that art can bring to those who love it. As a talented filmmaker who has appeared in evocative films such as “Cyclo” and “Bi, Don’t Be Afraid”, La Qui Tung has mastered the technique of “Show, don’t tell” in movies. He applies this spirit to his paintings, when he does not prepare a full tray for viewers but only places the best ingredients so they can “cook” their unique visual feasts.

Every year, he releases a work revolving around the number 0. Among the thousands and thousands of intertwined zeros fighting endlessly on the canvas, viewers can decide whether the zero they choose is a beginning or not. Ultimately, one can also be curious to guess how the artist chose the number 0. Together with La Qui Tung, viewers can continue writing unfinished stories from the starting point.


Besides stamping lines deep into the viewer’s mind, La Qui Tung also leads viewers on walks with unruly colors. Sometimes, it is a harmonious combination of warm shades; sometimes, it is an orderly chaos of vibrant colors, thereby bringing unique and sensual experiences. Not only does it affect the visual aspect, but the colors in his paintings are also like a sparkling stream spilling out of the canvas, far beyond the eye, gently falling into the hands of those who have not yet awakened to what they see. Art can touch your soul.


Abstract art is always challenging for those new to art: “What does this painting want to convey?” But when we come into contact with many works, we suddenly find the answer. Although no one knows right from wrong, the viewer can find a connection to the artist’s story. That is the greatest success for both artists and audiences when art is a bridge that connects all individuals only through the eyes.

During 40 years of making art, La Qui Tung has continuously discovered new ways to connect with art lovers. For him, there is no need to bother answering the question, “What is abstract?” Because the answer is not just one, but lies in countless unique experiences in the soul of the viewer./.