Vu Cao Dam

Vu Cao Dam was born in Hanoi in 1908 to a Catholic family of the local bourgeoisie. His father, a francophone and francophile, had been appointed by the Vietnamese government to represent the country at the 1889 World Fair in Paris. Immersed in well-to-do, erudite circles, Vu Cao Dam wasted no time in joining the Fine Arts School of Hanoi, founded in 1925 by the French painter Victor Tardieu, where he studied painting, drawing, and sculpture from 1926 to 1931. With the support of his professor, Vu Cao Dam participated in the Paris International Exhibition of 1931, which allowed him to experience a part of France and its capital, where he then chose to settle. The artist was above all known for his sculpture practice, which brought him numerous commissions upon his arrival in Paris. In parallel, he devoted himself to silk painting. In both, Vu Cao Dam’s art focuses on the human figure; busts appearing in one instance, charming genre scenes or biblical themes in the other. Decisively marked by the Western avant-garde (Fauvism and the Paris School) Vu Cao Dam’s creations lie on the edges of Asian traditions in general, and Vietnamese and Chinese in particular.

 

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