Trịnh Kim Vinh Biography

Second Generation Artist: Covered the Conflict in Vietnam with America

Trịnh Kim Vinh was born in 1932 in Hanoi, where she spent the majority of her life before reunification. She spent her life dedicated to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam’s (DRV) arts and culture, using her considerable experience studying abroad to teach art at various primary and secondary schools in Vietnam.

Trịnh Kim Vinh and the Việt Minh

At the age of 13, Vinh joined the August Revolution in 1945 where she held many positions of responsibility including Youth Union leader and Commune Woman’s Commissar, charged with eradicating illiteracy. Vinh also began drawing for a local newspaper in her hometown to mobilize women for the fight. She joined the Việt Bắc Resistance Class that was set up in the Việt Bắc from 1949 to 1951. Upon finishing her studies, Vinh studied at the Pedagogy Faculty in China until 1953.[1]

“I would take many field trips, and would do quick sketches of the scenes that I liked to paint. I was the only female artist of that time that dared to take field trips to paint. It was not easy to go to such places, but I was eager to go. Other people were afraid of bombs and bullets. I was young then, so, I was afraid of nothing. Where I could paint, I would visit.”

Trịnh Kim Vinh during an interview with Witness Collection on 1 February 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City

After holding numerous positions in different communes and districts, Vinh became the principal of Lý Nhân primary school in Tuyên Quang Province (Việt Bắc Military Zone) from 1953 to 1954. From 1954 to 1955, during a field trip in North Vietnam, Vinh was honoured to meet Hồ Chí Minh, or “Uncle Ho” as he was affectionately termed. She continued teaching at various primary and secondary schools in Hanoi from 1955 to 1964.

Trịnh Kim Vinh’s Education and Career

Subsequently, in 1964, Vinh enrolled in the Vietnam Fine Arts College diploma course, graduating in 1969. She was then sent to the former Democratic Republic of Germany to conduct research for her master’s degree in lithography between 1970 and 1973. She studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) in Dresden. On her return, she was appointed the head of the Drawing Department at the Vietnam Fine Arts College.

Her husband, Lưu Hữu Phước, a writer and musician, served as the Minister of Culture and Information in the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. During the late-1960s, Trịnh Kim Vinh sketched and painted mainly female soldiers and women who were involved in the war effort.

After reunification in 1975, Vinh was transferred to the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts College, where she taught as Head of the Plastic Art and Graphics Faculty and later became vice-principal, until 1995. In that time, she also became a member of the executive committee of the Ho Chi Minh Fine Art Association.

In 1983 she won second prize at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Exhibition. Her work has been shown in many national and international exhibitions, including at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum.

Later in Life

From 1995 to 2010, Vinh was included as memebr of the Vietnam-Germany Friendship Association, based the connections she made during her days studying her master’s degree there.

Continuing with her prolific career as a teacher, she went on to tutor students researching their master’s degrees at the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University from 1996 to 2009. At that time, she also became a member of the Plastic Art Council, which approved student works master’s degrees at the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University.

Trịnh Kim Vinh retired in 2009. She lives in Ho Chi Minh City.

GALLERY

Publications

Realism in Asian Art, 2010, The National Art Gallery, Singapore & The National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Korea

Hội Mỹ Thuật Việt Nam, Nghệ sĩ tạo hình Việt Nam hiện đại (Ký Hệu Hội Viên), 2009, Nhà Xuất Bản Mỹ Thuật, Hà Nội

C. David Thomas, As Seen by Both Sides: American and Vietnamese Artists Look at the War, 1991, University of Massachusetts Press; First Edition, Massachusetts

Nguyễn Thanh Châu, Tác Giả – Tác Phẩm Mỹ Thuật (Authors and Works of Fine Art); Thời kỳ Chiến Tranh Cách Mạng (Anthology of Fine Arts Works during the Revolutionary Wartime), 2005

Graphics Department 1976-2008, 2008, Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University, Ho Chi Minh City

Collections[2]

Vietnam Fine Art Museum, Hanoi

The South East Military Zone 9 Museum and Military Zone 7 Museum, Ho Chi Minh City

The South Women Museum

Tây Ninh Musuem

National Copper Graving Museum, Germany

The Culture House, Germany[3]

Exhibitions

1974 – Solo exhibition at Dresden University

1991 – As Seen by Both Sides, 1989-1994, exhibited at 17 museums in the USA and 3 museums in Vietnam

2010 – Realism in Asia, Singapore National Gallery, Singapore & National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea

Official Roles[4]

1945 – Youth Union Leader of Cho Dua, Hanoi

1945-1946 – Commune Women’s Commissar

Member of the Executive Committee of the Redemptionists

1947-1949 and 1964-1969 – Head of the Xuan Truong district Women’s Training

1970-1974 – Interprovincial commissioner of students in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Teacher at Thanh Quan Elementary School in Hanoi

Director of Graphic Design at the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University, Ho Chi Minh City

1975-1995 – Deputy Director of Teaching Methodology at the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University, Ho Chi Minh City

Awards[5]

1954 – Medal of Merit in Resistance

1958 – Fine Arts Prize given by the Vietnam Council of Fine Arts

1958 – Encouragement Prize of National Paintings 1958 for the painting Thư Tín Bắc Nam –

Mails between The North and The South, gouache

1961 – 1st Rank Medal of Resistance  (Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng)

1978 – 2nd Prize of Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association for the painting Cảng Nhà Rồng,

Nhà Rồng Port, stone

1982 – 2nd Prize of National Propaganda Paintings for the painting “Cây Có Dầu – Tree That Is.”

Having Oil, gouache

1983 – 2nd Prize of Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Association for the painting “Cảnh Khánh Hội” (Scene of Khánh Hội)

1985 – Medal of Resistance (The President Trường Chinh)

1990 – Excellent Teacher award given by The State Council

1991 – Special Prize, held by Pasteur Institute of France “Pasteur – Calmette – Yersin vivront toujours dans le Coeur des meres”

1991 – Associate Professor of the Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts University, Ho Chi Minh City

1994 – Medal for Union Career (General Labor Union of Vietnam)

1995 – Medal for Educational Career of Vietnam

1997 – Medal for Vietnamese Arts Career by Vietnam Fine Arts Association

REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES:

[1] Realism in Asian Art, 2010, The National Art Gallery, Singapore & The National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Korea.

[2] Trịnh Kim Vinh Biography compiled from two interviews conducted with the artist by Witness Collection, 2005, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

[3] Information about Trịnh Kim Vinh’s husband and her study in East Germany taken from two interviews conducted with the artist by Witness Collection, 2005, Hồ Chí Minh City, Vietnam.

[4] Văn Thành, The talented woman in the life of musician Lưu Hữu Phước, 10 January 2013, Người Đưa Tin News, https://www.nguoiduatin.vn/nguoi-phu-nu-tai-hoa-ben-doi-nhac-sy-luu-huu-phuoc-a64709.html&prev=search. Visited on 12 April 2018.

[5] Ibid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *