Hailing from Hanoi, Vietnam, Hong Viet Dung (born in 1962) was an apprentice at the Pham Viet Son Painting Studio in 1979 before joining the Hanoi Industrial College of Fine Arts in 1984. Hong graduated with a degree in painting and later went on to becoming one of the founding members of the Gang of Five, a member of the Vietnam Plastic Art Association and the Literature and Art Association. In his recent works, Ha Long Bay, the subject matter goes beyond reminding the viewers of the Vietnamese national treasure. His works emanates a calm and serene quality of Ha Long Bay that is ironic to its legendary origin. 'Ha Long' is directly translated as 'Bay of descending Dragons'. According ancient belief, in an attempt to save the Vietnamese people from foreign invasion, these dragons spewed pearls that formed the scattered limestone structures of today, preventing invaders. The chaos that constitutes this ancient belief is where the artist has instead used to depict peace and tranquility. Hong uses simplicity to present the very essence of his works to the viewers, simple yet stunning.
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