Stay in a Vietnamese Artist’s Charming Studio-Home
One of Vietnam’s most famous contemporary artists is Le Hong Thai. His work of abstract paintings is made by applying lacquer to wood. Le Hong Thai is important in Vietnamese history, as he was the first Vietnamese artist to produce abstract lacquer paintings. His technique is built on the belief that the beauty of a lacquer painting is not in the representation of concrete subjects, but is expressed by the way in which the various colors and structures are arranged between themselves. In addition to his lacquer paintings, Le Hong Thai also produces gouaches (opaque water color paintings) and ceramics.
Le Hong Thai resides and works at his Hanoi home, which is within five minutes walk of the Song Duong River. The artist bought his Long Bien house 20 years ago. One cannot imagine a more charming house. Moreover, it is now open for guests as a bed and breakfast.
We enter the house via a beautiful Zen garden inspired by the famous Japanese Ryoan-ji in Kyoto. At the far end of the garden there’s a large basin with hundreds of plants and a statue of Buddha. On the groundfloor, a huge living room/dining room/open kitchen with a fireplace for cold winter days invites us to relax. Behind, a small bedroom and a bathroom await. When walking up the stairs to the second floor, guests discover that the whole house is decorated with Mr. Hong Thai’s paintings and antiques. A large wooden platform and French windows with a bathtub dominate the second floor.
The house, which is said to be about one hundred years old, is actually an old Thai house on stilts. It has three double beds and sleeps a maximum of six.
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