Mai Trung Thứ - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Saturday, May 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Galerie Apesteguy, Deauville
    Private Collection, France (acquired from the above in the 1960s)
    Thence by descent to the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Mai Thu offers his collectors a visual poetry of his homeland through his ‘occidentalised’ version of Vietnamese art. The portrayal of women or children in a peaceful domestic setting is a recurring motif in Mai Thu’s oeuvre. Two musicians encapsulates the tender moment of two boys playing a flute. The painting is made up of ink and gouache on silk – a technique originating from École des Beaux Arts d’Indochine, devised to apply European techniques whilst utilising local materials. Mai Thu favoured this medium as ink allowed for a precision of line, demonstrated in the outlines and the many folds in the boys’ clothing.

    Two Boys Playing the Flute is from a sought after period as it was created after Mai Thu had ample time to refine his technique having settled in France for over a decade. This sweet depiction of a familiar scene is tinged with a nostalgic vision of his homeland, which Mai Thu generously shares with his collectors.


Two Boys Playing the Flute

signed with one seal of the artist and dated 'MAI THU 1959' lower right
colour on silk laid down on cardboard
18 x 24 cm. (7 1/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
Executed in 1959.

HK$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for HK$400,000

Contact Specialist
Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019