Profile

Mai Duy Minh

Current Status: At risk

Photo of Mai Duy Minh

Date of Birth: April 13, 1976

Gender: M

Ethnicity: Kinh

Occupation: Artist

Areas of Activism:

  • Artistic freedom

Details

Background

Artist Mai Duy Minh was born and raised in Hai Phong Province. He graduated from the Hanoi University of Fine Arts in 1999 (its current name is the Vietnam University of Fine Arts).

Minh previously had two solo exhibitions: “Tổ Hợp Không Gian” (Space Complex) in 2002 at the Atena Gallery, and “Bụi đời” (Dust of Life) in 2006 at Goethe-Institut. He has also taken part in several group exhibitions.

In 2010, Minh received an award from the Vietnam Fine Arts Association.

Profile photo source: Hanoi Art Gallery

History of Activism

Mai Duy Minh often paints about social issues, such as poverty and corruption; he also has a painting about the Dong Tam police raid in 2019 that resulted in several deaths.

Note on the painting (pictured in the incident tab): Mai Duy Minh's painting was about the Dong Tam police raid in 2019 that resulted in several deaths. This painting was available on Hai Phong Art; however, it was removed from the website sometime after May 10 when our researchers downloaded it.

May 7, 2022: interrogated to discuss the suspension of the "Điện Biên Phủ" Exhibition

Police interrogation
May 7, 2022
The Department of Culture and Sports of the Hanoi City People's Committee
47 Hang Dau Street, Hoan Kiem District (map)

freedom of expression

On May 7, 2022, Mai Duy Minh was summoned to meet with officials of the Department of Culture and Sports of the Hanoi City People's Committee to discuss his paintings about the victory at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. 

The exhibit to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the battle on May 7, 1954 had been approved by the Department of Culture and Sports but was postponed at the last moment due to concerns that “the painting ‘Dien Bien Phu’ had a tattered national flag and a soldier that was not handsome and not anatomically correct.”

The painting “Dien Bien Phu” is a large-scale oil on canvas painting and is the result of a decade of tireless work by Minh, which began with a brainstorming process and finished with the project completion at the end of 2021. It is one of the exhibition’s two featured paintings. The second, named “General Vo Nguyen Giap,” was completed over four years, from 2017 to 2021.  “As with the painting of ‘General Võ Nguyên Giáp,’ the ‘Dien Bien Phu' painting is also to express my artistic opinion,” he said. The exhibition also displays 86 of Minh’s sketches made in pencil, ballpoint pen, iron pens and oil in different sizes, showing the artist's long journey.

On May 10, 2022, a representative of the Department of Culture and Sports of the Hanoi City People's Committee told State media that they are contacting the relevant stakeholders regarding the exhibition. “We will disseminate the decision on the exhibition to agencies and relevant individuals later,” he said.

Profile last updated: 2024-06-13 20:34:07

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