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[Photos] An Artist's 'Transparent' Paintings Juxtapose Cultural Loss With Modern Freedoms

Should a nation hold on to its cultural traditions, or cast them off and embrace new liberal attitudes?

This question lies at the heart of much of the world's political discourse, and the tension it creates has led to vast arrays of creative output, from literature and film to music and art. 

In the following oil paintings, Nguyen Minh Nam dissects this conflict between new and old societal values through the use of 'transparent' paintings that compare female figures from tradition and modernity.

In each piece, faded black-and-white figures represent the culture of the past, while their modern counterparts appear in full color. The latter enjoy smoking and drinking and are often scantily clad; the former act almost like servants, or display the hardships they faced on the road to bringing the freedoms now enjoyed by contemporary Vietnamese. 

Is it possible to view these paintings without recognizing the co-existence of pride and regret? That is up to the viewer, but, as always, there is a price to be paid for change. When we gain a piece, we lose one too. 

 Take a look below:

Day After Day

One Day, One Life

The Heiress

30 Minutes Before The Wedding

A Dream


A Historical Period

Survival of Empress Nam Phuong

Invisible War

The Heiress 01

After Breakfast

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