Bui Xuan Phai
(1920-1988)



 
Bui Xuan Phai in 1986
(pencil drawing by Nguyen Dinh Dang)




Street scenes by Bui Xuan Phai:

                



Nho bac Phai
by Nguyen Dinh Dang



I met Bui Xuan Phai for the fist time in the beginning of 1986 in Hanoi. Since then we frequently visited each other almost every week. I made several portraits of Phai by pencil and pen, one by charcoal, and the last one by oil on canvas. The first one in this series is shown above. Other portraits can be previewed here.The charcoal sketch was presented to Phai. The oil portrait was sold to a German collector, whose name I forgot. Bui Xuan Phai and Mai Van Hien were two painters who nominated me to the membership of the Vietnam Fine-Arts Association (VFAA), a state-run organization of professional painters and sculptors of the country. I becamea member of VFAA in 1987. After he passed away in 1988, I wrote an article in his memory, which was later published in the newspaper of the Hanoi Association of Arts and Literature "Nguoi Hanoi" (The Hanoian). My wife recalled that,when she visited his home and gave his wife my article, which I sent home from Russia, Mrs. Bui Xuan Phai put my article on his altar next to his portrait. (Nguyen Dinh Dang)

Bui Xuan Phai and Prof. Vu Nhu Canh
at the solo show of paintings by Nguyen Dinh Dang
(Hanoi Culture Palace, 1986).