Lao Vice President Bounnhang Volachith hosted a reception in Vientiane on May 23 for Nong Quoc Tuan, deputy head of the Vietnamese Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA), who is on a working visit to Laos from May 21-29.
Body painting, a favorite art in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Australia, is slowly asserting its official status in conservative Vietnam after the art was debuted less than a year ago at the Hanoi-based French cultural center L’Espace.
It was only in March last year when nude or semi-nude models had their bodies painted with various patterns and colors to be presented to the public eye.
One month later, another official public display of body painting was held at an exhibition center at No 16 Ngo Quyen Street in Hanoi.
Previously, body painting events had been organized on a pilot and informal basis behind half-closed doors.
Despite its official status now, the art is yet to make its way into art school curricula in the nation, while artists performing the art are either amateurs or self-learners from documents on Internet.
Now, all exhibitions are held at places with limited entrance like a small gallery or a bar accommodating no more than 20 people.
Meanwhile, there are not that many body painting artists and they can be listed as Ngo Luc, Phuong Vu Manh, Dao Anh Khanh, Truong Tan, Bui Cong Khanh and Nhu Huy.
A local artist admitted that body painting in Vietnam is just in its embryonic period of development but will grow as lovers of the art are forming forums and clubs with an open-minded outlook.
Artist Phuong Vu Manh, 42, from Hanoi said he has organized over 30 shows of body painting to rave reviews from fans. Another artist Ngo Luc, 32, from Ho Chi Minh City has presented some 15.
A pattern created by artist Ngo Luc on model Kim Ngan
Recently, more and more young girls are willing to display their bare backs and hands painted with different colors and patterns as a way of self-assertion, according to Luc.
Body painting started in the 1930s but a strong revival took place in Western society in the 1960s, in part prompted by the liberalization of social mores regarding nudity.
Many World Body Painting Festivals have been held across the world for decades.
Nowadays, it is a favorite art in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Australia.
Followings are some other images of body painting by artist Ngo Luc:
Patterns on nude body of model Vinh Nghi
And on nude body of model Hanh Quyen
Model Lam Uyen