Art is creativity, not innovation | Sculptor DAO CHAU HAI


I was completely surprised by Dinh Phong’s appearance as the creator of paintings and sculptures at his first solo exhibition “The Flying Man and his Surreal Dreams” at Art Space – Vietnam’s Fine Arts College (42 Yet Kieu, Hanoi).

Why? I’m surprised that his language in his creative world is done in a purely expressive language – I want to emphasize it here: very personal, yes, and very profound! It is new because it all starts from experiences accumulated from year to year. It’s totally different from the language systems, the usual logical methods we have ever studied and known.

Clearly, what Dinh Phong has expressed in a 3-dimensional space was purely personal and improvisational. And yet his art is far from whimsically naive – we can read in Dinh Phong’s art totally professional approaches, from lower to higher levels.

No Name | 06. Acrylic trên Canvas. 650 x 200 cm.2021

Different and surprising, with completely personal feelings. The difference from the so-called academic doctrines, and the personal experiences in Dinh Phong’s art shows a highly self- conscious professionalism.

Once you follow abstract and expressionist painting, it’s so easy to fall into the steps of other artists, which can be quite tiresome, a whole headache. A few strokes and you find what you are drawing is a copy of either Wassily Kandinsky or Jackson Pollock or Edvard Munch’s. Dinh Phong, in my opinion, goes beyond all that due to his haunting personal problems and his own experiences.

I congratulate Dinh Phong as an unexpected artist who came so suddenly just like the “Flying Man and Surreal Dreams”. And he is not officially trained! I’ve seen so many people properly trained in painting who in the end just end up in the same mold.

And is it not that critics and researchers themselves established the schools and fixed the definitions and formulas for the purpose of making it easier to study fine arts? As for the artist himself, he is the creator, who possesses absolute, limitless freedom to fly. How could anybody set limits to him?

The new still needs new definitions, which conforms to common rules. Dinh Phong’s Exhibition brings a new and strange look to viewers. Art is creativity, not initiative.
Dinh Phong created his own world beyond the formula.

Hanoi, March 20, 2021


recorded by Nguyen Huu Hong Minh

Họa sĩ Đinh Tú Phong (bên trái) và Điêu khắc gia Đào Châu Hải (bên phải)
Họa sĩ Đinh Tú Phong (bên trái) và Điêu khắc gia Đào Châu Hải (bên phải)
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