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Vietnam University of Fine Arts

Vietnam University of Fine Arts (formerly Hanoi Higher School of Fine Arts) is an art school in Hanoi (Vietnam), which was created in 1925 under French rule. The university has trained many of Vietnam’s leading artists, and each year takes part in numerous cultural exchanges with sister foreign institutions.

History
The long and distinguished history of the University of Fine Arts of Hanoi can be traced back to the colonial École Supérieure des Beaux Arts de l’Indochine (1925-1945) (Indochina Higher School of Fine Arts), which educated subsequent generations of Vietnamese students – and a small number of students from Cambodia and Laos , – in the Western artistic tradition, laying the necessary foundations for the development of the distinctive Vietnamese style of contemporary art. The Indochina School of Fine Arts in Hanoi was the forerunner of the Hanoi Higher School of Fine Arts.

The university was created by the French colonial government, similarly to the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts d’Alger (National School of Fine Arts of Algeria), created in 1843 and the École des Beaux-Arts de Tunis (School of Fine Arts of Tunisia), created in 1923. This school was for all students from French Indochina, including the Tonkins, Annams, Kokhinhin (that is, not ethnic Chinese, but residents of Kokhinhin), Khmers and Lao, although most of the students were inevitably from Hanoi itself.

Although co-founders, they usually consider the first director Victor Tardieu and the Vietnamese artist Nam Son. The sculptor Evarist Jonscher replaced Tardieu as director, and held it from 1938 to 1945.

Among the French artists who taught at this and other art schools in southern Vietnam, there were several winners of the Indochina Prize (since 1925, winning the prize has included annual teaching at the school). The teaching staff also included Joseph Ingimberti and Alix Aime, wife of the deputy commander of the French forces.

Graduates

The students were Le Fo, To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Fan Tian (the first to display silk paintings in Paris in 1931), Nguyen Gia Tri (known for lacquer painting), the Catholic artist Le Van De, Nguyen Tuong Lan, the artist Le Thi Luu, who emigrated to Paris, Nguyen Sang, Nguyen Khang, Huyin Van Gum, Zyong Beat Lien and Ta Ti.

After 1945

After the revolution in August 1945, the school was captured by the interim government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. When the struggle against the French intensified in 1950, the school was moved to Zai Tu, Thai Nguyen Province in the East Vietnam Resistance Zone, where the leader is artist To Ngok Van.

In 1954, teachers and students returned to Hanoi, where in 1957 a new Hanoi School of Fine Arts was created under the direction of artist Tran Van Kan.

In 1981, this institution became the Hanoi University of Fine Arts. The university offers a five-year bachelor’s program in fine arts and two full-time or three-year correspondence courses in painting, drawing and sculpture, as well as four years in a bachelor’s program in the field of teaching fine arts.

Bui Suan Fai attended school from 1941 to 1946 and taught in it for several years; in 1957 he was fired for supporting the Nyan Wang-Zai Fam Alliance, a movement for political and cultural freedom. As a result, he was banned from exhibiting his work in public until his solo exhibition in 1984.

On May 9, 2000, Hanoi University of Fine Arts, in collaboration with other local art institutions, organized a large reunion of former college students for the University’s 75th anniversary.

The university was created by the French colonial government, similarly to the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts d’Alger (National School of Fine Arts of Algeria), created in 1843 and the École des Beaux-Arts de Tunis (School of Fine Arts of Tunisia), created in 1923. This school was for all students from French Indochina, including the Tonkins, Annams, Kokhinhin (that is, not ethnic Chinese, but residents of Kokhinhin), Khmers and Lao, although most of the students were inevitably from Hanoi itself.

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