Mai Trung Thứ - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | Phillips

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  • One of the most prominent artists in Vietnamese modern art history, Mai Trung Thứ is best known for his silk portraits, which are a collection of vignettes of the Vietnamese upper class with subtle Western aesthetics. Among the first cohort to graduate from the Fine Arts College of Indochina (L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Indochine) in Hanoi, alongside other seminal artists such as Nguyen Gia Tri and Lê Phổ, Mai Trung Thứ was quick to abandon oil painting in favour of traditional Asian techniques such as ink and gouache on silk, maintaining a distinctly Vietnamese practice throughout his career despite later working in Europe.


    Depictions of women and children in peaceful, domestic settings are a recurring theme in Mai Trung Thứ’s oeuvre, as epitomised by the present work, Young Girl Drinking Tea. The simplistic setting of the portrait draws attention to the subject’s dainty features, which are highlighted by the shades of red and green she is dressed in— colours which represent good fortune and purity respectively in Asian culture. The artist’s homely and intimate works are imbued with a deep nostalgia for his homeland— despite relocating to Paris, it is evident that Vietnam remained close to his heart.

    The artist in his studio


    • Provenance

      Private Collection, France
      Fine Art Auctions, Paris, 26 June 2019, lot 8
      Private Collection, France
      Phillips, Hong Kong, 9 July 2020, lot 203
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


Young Girl Drinking Tea

signed with one seal of the artist and dated 'MAI THU 1953' upper right
colour on silk laid down on cardboard
20 x 9 cm. (7 7/8 x 3 1/2 in.)
Executed in 1953.

Full Cataloguing

HK$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for HK$378,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022