Lacquer paintings


In the 1960s, NGUYỄN Sao turned towards the traditional art of lacquer, to reach between 1960-1970 the summit of his artistic creation as a Master in lacquer painting.

NGUYỄN Sao’s lacquer paintings look very much like his paintings : he actually uses a very personal technique where tints are finely produced, even in the parts carved with egg shells. Thanks to the choice of shells, in burning and in crushing them to obtain a fine powder mixed with lacquer, he suceeds in obtaining a palette nearly as rich as the oil painting one.

While placing bits of shells on lacquer,  spreading over them one or two layers of transparent lacquer and stopping pouncing at the right moment, he realizes this very particular relief effect with an extraordinary display of colours.

Great artworks were thus conceived according to this process and were acquired by art collectors. We may cite among others :   “Les trois Parques“, “La couronne d’épines du Christ“, “Le chemin de croix“, “Les baigneuses“…

Les trois Parques, laque avec coquilles d’œuf (vers 1960)
The three Parques, lacquer with egg shells (circa 1960)

He also made many researches to mix lacquer with the so-called “immortal” colours, so as to obtain intermediary colours, more subtle and fresher tints than those of the traditional lacquer paintings. He thus created a rich variety of grey-pink, grey-blue and grey-green. With these mixtures and tones really new in this field, he gave to his panels of lacquer numerous colours of classic paintings.

In 1963, a first exhibition in Saïgon showed the result of two years work and patient researches with this medium.

La Femme au lotus, laque avec feuilles d'or
The lady with the lotus, lacquer with gold sheets, part.coll. 80×60 (circa 1963)
Ronde autour du flamboyant, laque (vers 1960)
Dance around the poinciana tree, lacquer, 60×80 (circa 1963)
Les quatorze stations, laque avec coquilles d’œuf (Saïgon, vers 1960)
The stations of the Cross, lacquer with egg shells, part.coll., 60×90 (circa 1960)


Danse à Saint-Flour, laque (vers 1962)
Dance in front of Saint-Flour, lacquer, 50×60 (circa 1962)
Les rochers de Ha-Tien, laque 60x90 (Saigon, vers 1965)
Ha-Tien rocks, lacquer 60×90 (circa 1965)