VietNamNet Bridge – Paintings created from corn silk, leaves, sawdust and silkworm cocoon, are products by untrained artist Ta Ngoc Hai, Hanoi.
Artist Ta Ngoc Hai and his "materials".
Mr. Hai only uses natural leaves to make paintings. “I’m advised to dry leaves by chemicals to have nice colors but I do not agree. I want to maintain natural colors. Professional painters are interested in lay-out, drawing, and color. I am interested in seeking special materials,” he says.
Hai made his first leaf-made painting in 1965, when he was a solder. During his three day leave, Hai strolled on Trang Tien Street and saw paintings made by bamboo pieces. Returning home, he made a dry banana leaf painting featuring Ha Long Bay. He used rice and vermicelli as glue.
Until 1990, he began making leaf-made paintings again. Seeking new colors of leaves is a long and hard process for him. It took him ten of years to seek leaves which do not change color when they get dry. There are colors that he has not found out until now, for example blue or bright green.
Hai, 68, does not call himself a painter, but a “copyist,” because he was not trained at any art school. However, in the past 20 years, he has created around 1,000 paintings from leaves and “waste.” His exhibitions in 1998 and 2008 were highly appreciated by experts and the audience. Some artworks by Ta Hai:
Venice, Italy. The Fall in Russia. Trees and leaves. Nudidty The countryside. Flowers on riverbank. Hanoi’s old street. Still-life. Khanh Duy