Body painting comes to Vietnam

Published: 27/02/2009 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – Body painting is a new type of art in Vietnam. One of the body-painting pioneers in Vietnam is painter Ngo Luc, who is famous for creative ideas in performance art in Hanoi and HCM City.

Painter Ngo Luc and his model.

VietNamNet Bridge – Body painting is a new type of art in Vietnam. Like nude photos, models for body painting have to be nude partly or entirely. This art is popular in Europe and one of the body-painting pioneers in Vietnam is painter Ngo Luc, who is famous for creative ideas in performance art in Hanoi and HCM City.

Why are you interested in body painting, which is new and not warmly welcomed in Vietnam?

Body painting is really new in Vietnam because people don’t dare to do it or they are not sufficiently credible to convene others to work as models, or because the characteristics of the Oriental society. In the rest of the world, it is quite developed.

What do you expect from body painting in Vietnam as the way for this art is narrow?

Painting on the wall, on paper or on anything is simply painting but when you paint on the live body of someone, you feel differently. Because the human body is a lively and expressive object. Let’s imagine a painting that can move and can change the angle of view, etc. Broadly, if body painting develops, it will enlarge the land for creativeness of artists. I come to it very normally, like welcoming a natural beauty. But it needs time to develop in Vietnam.

You have created body paintings for some models in HCM City. Why did they choose you?

They believed in me. That’s the most important thing. Moreover, they had seen many impressive body paintings in the world and they wanted to try.

So you have to persuade models?

At the beginning, I had to spend a lot of time to convince models, by showing them examples and analysing their beauty. Though they were very interested in body painting, models only allowed me to paint their backs. After a period of time of trial and after I posted some body paintings on my blog, many models came to me and asked me to paint for them.

How many models have you painted on?

Only eight Vietnamese models and ten foreigners, including some models of the Fashion TV (FTV) (a famous TV channel of France).

That number is modest, isn’t it?

Because Vietnamese people, audiences, models and painters, are very reserved in welcoming body painting. Once I was invited to do a video clip about body painting to broadcast on TV but when the clip was nearly completed, we were asked to stop.

Models who have cooperated with you are famous ones?

There are some famous models. They have played in some TV series in HCM City. Though they came to meet me, they were afraid others would know them. If my works are published in newspapers or magazines, they allowed me to paint on their backs only. That restricted my creativeness.

How can you compare body painting to nude photos?

Nude photography and body painting are the same if you see them from the artistic angle. However, nude photos were known before body painting and have gradually become accepted. For body painting, both the face and the body must be shown while for nude photos, the face of the models can be hidden. Anyway, that’s sad!

I interviewed photographer Thai Phien (who is famous for nude photos), he said when he took nude photos he was like a monk. What is your rule when you work?

When I draw, I’m like a Buddhist priest. I see, understand and feel everything but I can’t let myself ‘down’.

Photographers can use cameras to implement their ideas. Body painting is natural touching. You can’t hold the brush if you don’t really understand and have a passion for it. You have to highly concentrate on the work, and even your model, otherwise your work will be very bad.

You said there are many lifestyles in body painting. What are they and which are the most popular?

There are lifestyles that models are the object for the painters to present their ideas so everyone can be a model. This lifestyle is very “strong” because the models must be entirely nude.

There are other styles to enhance the beauty of the models’ body. That’s the style I’m following. This lifestyle doesn’t require models to be 100 percent nude. This lifestyle can go with fashion for clothes, hair, and make up. Artists work by snatches, depending on the model’s body.

So this art needs the response of models and partly depends on the perfection of their bodies?

Models’ bodies are not as important because it depends on painting style. For my style, it is better to have a nice body.

Do you have many colleagues in Vietnam?

(Smile) I’m not sure, but perhaps I’m alone. But besides body painting, I do other jobs like taking photos, filming, and make-up.


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