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A note on Lê Thành Nhơn

“In Vietnam Lê Thành Nhơn lectured in fine arts and was known throughout the country as a talented sculptor and painter and as a master craftsman in lacquer. Except for a period after graduation from tertiary studies, when he was called up to do national service in the army, he spent his life in pursuit of excellence in the arts. He lived in Saigon but also lectured regularly in Huế and Nha Trang, travelling by air to fulfil his engagements there. He had a following in all these cities. One of his major works, a four metre high bronze sculpture of the Buddha, commissioned when he was 29 years of age, stood in a public park in Saigon. Another of his large works, depicting Phan Bội Châu, a hero in the struggle for independence against the French, stood in Huế. It was an eight-ton bronze, three and a half metres high. He'd exhibited paintings in major cities of West Germany, France and Southeast Asia as well as in Vietnam. By 1975, when he was 35, Nhơn had achieved recognition at home and abroad.

[...] in Australia, Nhơn has been extraordinarily productive. His interest in humanity and his urge to create have meant that his output here is probably no less than it would have been in Vietnam. He had commissions - the bust of a famous scientist for an institute of technology and smaller jobs for acquaintances and friends. He has held seven exhibitions of paintings in ten years. He works continuously in the evenings and at weekends.”

(quoted from Morag Loh, ‘Lê Thành Nhơn’, Australian Society, March 1987, p. 35-36)

Among Lê Thành Nhơn's numerous works of arts, these are notable:

Sitting Buddha, cement fondu, 4.5 metres tall, Buddhist Centre of Huệ Nghiêm, Saigon, 1969.

Head of Phan Bội Châu, bronze 3.5 metres, Huế, 1972.

Bust of Dr Phillip Law, bronze, Monash University (Melbourne), 1978; and University of Tasmania (Tasmania), 1993.

Sitting Buddha, bronze 50 cm, National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 1987.

The Journey to the Future, perspex and steel cutting installation, Melbourne, 1989.

Joy, bronze, 2.5 metres, Monash University (Caulfield Campus), Melbourne, 1997.

His works of arts have been kept in many private collections and public institutions in Vietnam, Australia, France, Germany, the United States, etc.


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