First Generation Artist: École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine French Influenced
Between 1936 and 1937, Tỵ was greatly inspired by music. After hearing the music of Đỗ Thế Phiệt at theOpera House, he started learning the piano. After a few years without making any real progress, he quit the piano to concentrate on painting. Outside of school, Tỵ began visiting the library to read fine art books and French newspapers, such as L’Illustration, containing works by Gaugin, Matisse, Van Gogh and Utrillo. In his own words, it was this exposure to Western painting that gave him the idea of exploring different styles beyond those taught at school, which he described as “mediocre things, picked up without creativity.”
In 1941, as a prize for one of his paintings, Tỵ was given permission to visit the imperial capital ofin . Although the trip might seem commonplace now, Tỵ’s experience would have been akin to travelling to another country, given the division of Vietnam into the three protectorates: , and Cochin.
In 1943, Tỵ graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts de l’Indochine. A year later, Tỵ’s painting Summer won an award at the Unique Salon exhibition in.
At the start of the  In 1948, he held an exhibition in with artists Bùi Xuân Phái and Văn Cao.in 1946, Tỵ joined the resistance movement against French colonial occupation. He was one of the first art teachers in , together with other notable artists Bùi Xuân Phái, Lê Quốc Lộc, Mai Văn Nam and Lương Xuân Nhị. While there, Tỵ painted Remember (1947) which stands as one of the earliest examples of Tỵ experimenting with Western painting techniques.
However, in May 1950, Tỵ fled his  Although such declarations met staunch criticism from other artists such as Nguyễn Sỹ Ngọc, recurrent “critical meetings”, urged on by Chinese officials, forcing Tỵ to explain the revolutionary theme in his Cubist paintings no doubt led to his admitting, “It is not easy for me to defend myself against those naive questions, because they have no knowledge of painting. I wanted to go crazy, but I tried to stay calm until the end of the meeting.”base in the northern provinces and returned to , writing to a friend that, “My way of thinking does not suit the resistance after a few years of living with them.” Tỵ’s disenchantment with the resistance cause no doubt grew from the increasing control the government (DRV) had on all forms of artistic expression. At the 1948 National Congress of the Arts in , the communist political leader and theoretician Trường Chinh had stated, “Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism are poisonous mushrooms on the decaying woody body of the imperial culture.”
Tạ Tỵ, in a letter to Bởi Trần
After returning to  In 1951, he exhibited 60 paintings at an exhibition entitled Modern Art in . One oil painting included in the exhibition, Loneliness, was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Singapore in April 2000 for SDS19,550. The auction catalogue stated: “Loneliness is one of the typical works of Tạ Tỵ’s Cubist period.”, Tỵ began to compose prolifically over a range of disciplines; fiction, poetry, scriptwriting and journalism, as well as painting. In this period, Tỵ started to paint with lacquer alongside other contemporary artists such as Nguyên Giá Trị, Lê Phổ and Nguyễn Tư Nghiêm until he switched to oil.
In 1954, after the Geneva Accords and the withdrawal of French troops from Vietnam, Tỵ moved to, following many other creatives drawn to South Vietnam after the country was divided. There, after graduating the in the third class of the Thủ Đức Military Officer School as a first lieutenant, he served for the (ARVN), reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the General Department of Political War. Tỵ’s work from his time in up until 1956 explored Cubism, distancing himself from the Social Realist art of North Vietnam admired by the Vietnamese Communist Party.
In 1956, at the beginning of the-Giai Phẩm affair in North Vietnam, Tỵ held a solo exhibition of more than 60 paintings in , the first Cubist painting exhibition organized in South Vietnam. Again, in 1961, Tỵ exhibited another 60 Cubist and abstract paintings. This exhibition signified Tỵ’s artistic development from Cubist to Abstract art, which came to define him as an artist.
While in  Tỵ intended to display 100 portraits at the end of 1975, but the Liberation of meant the exhibition was never held., Tỵ also dedicated a considerable amount of time to a series of portrait oil paintings of notable writers, poets and actors living in and South Vietnam such as Vũ Hoàng Chương, Đại Đức Tuấn, Vi Huyền Đắc, Dương Thiệu Tước, Võ Hồng, Sơn Nam, Thanh Tâm Tuyền, Nguyên Sa, Trịnh Công and Phạm Duy.
Until the end of the, Tỵ collaborated with numerous newspapers, magazines and publishers. However, after liberation in 1975, many works by artists such as Tỵ were burned by the People’s Army of Vietnam ( ) or destroyed by the artists themselves for their own protection. In 1976, the reunification under a communist government meant a crackdown on “unpatriotic” creativity and thought, Tỵ was arrested and sent to a re-education camp, passing through seven camps in six years. In 1982, upon his release, he travelled with his wife and children to Malaysia en route to the United States, where he settled. Tỵ continued to paint in the United States until 2003 when he moved back to .
On 24 August 2004, Tạ Tỵ passed away at 83 years old at his home in.
Tạ Tỵ, Pebbles – Episodes of Stories, 1962, Nam Chi Tùng Thư,
Tạ Tỵ, Love and Vengeance – A Collection of Stories, 1970, Phạm Quang Kha,
Tạ Tỵ, Ten Faces of Art, 1970, Nam Chi Tùng Thư,. (Republished in by the Vietnam Writers Association in 1996)
Tạ Tỵ, Pham Duy and That Sadness, 1971, Văn Sử Học,
Tạ Tỵ, For Life, 1971, Khai Phong,
Tạ Tỵ, Ten Faces of Literature Today, 1972, Lá Bối,. (Reprinted in the United States by Xuân Thu in 1991)
Tạ Tỵ, When – A Collection of Stories, 1972, Gìn Vàng Giữ Ngọc,
Tạ Tỵ, The Thought (magazine), 1974, Khai Phong,
Tạ Tỵ, Hell’s Day, 1985, Thằng Mõ, United States
Tạ Tỵ, The Artistic Faces Throughout My Life, 1990, Thằng Mõ, California, United States
Tạ Tỵ, My Hamlet, a collection of stories written in exile, 1992, Xuân Thu, United States
Tạ Tỵ, Cloud Bay, poems, 1996, Miền Nam
A trip (2000)
Collection Book Ta Ty published in 2001
Museum of Fine Arts
Private international collections
Tokyo, San Francisco, New York and Paris
Sydney and Melbourne art museums
1943 – Unique Salon Exhibition,
1948 – Exhibition held inwith artists Bùi Xuân Phái and Văn Cao
1951 – Modern Art,
1956 – Solo exhibition,
1961 – Exhibition of 60 Cubist and Abstract paintings,
REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:
 “Tạ Tỵ (1921-2004),” (https://hoasivietnam.wordpress.com/tham-kh%E1%BA%A3o/ta-ty/tieu-su-ta-ty/ on 26 June 2019).
 “Tạ Tỵ: Biography – Works – Self-Portrait,” (http://www.hocxa.com/Hoa/TaTy/TaTy_TieuSu.php visited on 26 June 2019.
 Tạ Tỵ, Hợp Lưu 32, 1992, Xuân Đinh Sửu, pg. 216.
 “Tạ Tỵ in a letter to Bởi Trần on 14 August 2001. Bởi Trần, “Tạ Tỵ (1922-2004) – a pioneer in Vietnamese art,” August 2004, Sydney (http://www.tienve.org/home/visualarts/viewVisualArts.do?action=viewArtwork&artworkId=2641#2R visited on 26 June 2019).
 Trường Chinh, Marxism and Vietnamese cultural issues, 1974, , , p.19.
 Nguyễn Sỹ Ngọc commented in an article published by the Sáng tạo newspaper in Zone 4 in 1951 that Trường Chinh’s thinking was “ignorant but daring to criticize art.” He was later sent to a re-education camp from 1956 to 1959.
 Tạ Tỵ, “The artists that I know”, The Literary Faces that have Passed My Life, 2001, Thằng Mõ, California, p.101.
 Ngã Văn, “A book for painter Tạ Tỵ,” 29 May 2019 (https://www.noithatmagazine.vn/mot-cuon-sach-cho-hoa-si-ta-ty-673063.html visited on 26 June 19).
 Lê Huỳnh Lâm, “Painter Tạ Tỵ – from stereoscopic to non-physical,” 8 September 2016, Literature Week No. 417 (http://tuanbaovannghetphcm.vn/hoa-si-ta-ty-tu-lap-the-den-phi-hinh-the/ visited on 26 June 2019).
 Thanh Vân, “Tạ Tỵ – pioneer painter in Vietnam,” 20 July 2016, (https://vov.vn/van-hoa-giai-tri/ta-ty-hoa-si-tien-phong-ve-tranh-lap-the-tai-viet-nam-532149.vov visited on 26 June 2019).