Light and colour of Vietnam comes to Kāpiti

Kāpiti artist Tania Dally has recently returned home with a series of 20 paintings created while living in Hoi An, Vietnam for three months.

The collection: Hoi An: Light and Colour will be featured at Tania’s Boatshed Studio, across the footbridge from the carpark at Marine Gardens, Raumati Beach, as part of the upcoming Kāpiti Arts Trail.

“The idea was to escape the New Zealand winter, experience a different culture and find new and interesting scenes to paint,” said Tania.

Hoi An is a city of 120,000 residents in central Vietnam renowned for its tailors, lanterns, cuisine, beaches and historic township all of which are featured in the collection of paintings.

The subjects of the 20 paintings are designed to collectively form an overall picture of the Vietnamese city. They are a mix of iconic Hoi An scenes, like the famous Japanese bridge in the Old Town, and personal experiences such as the local street restaurant across the road from the house that Tania rented for three months.

“It was a real challenge setting up a home and studio in a foreign climate and culture,” she said. “Everything was different: the materials, the weather, the language – and this meant my practice developed in directions that I hadn’t anticipated.”

Tania’s painting style is best described as applying varying degrees of abstraction to scenes to interpret their shapes, textures, colour and light. In other words she is not trying to reproduce the image exactly as it is, but to capture the emotion and energy that is inherent within.

Tania has also written a book of her experiences in Hoi An, where each painting is featured with the photo that inspired it and a story backgrounding the scene and Tania’s personal experience of it.

The book, also called Hoi An: Light and Colour, is an 80-page, hardcover, coffee table book that is limited to 130 personally-signed copies.

The Hoi An: LIght and Colour series, together with copies of the book, will be on display at the Boatshed Studio, Raumati Beach as part of the Kāpiti Arts Trail which runs on consecutive weekends 2, 3 November and 9, 10 November.