Published on: 1 December 2023
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Biological World Ideas From Fine Art

Return to the exhibition ART TRAIL 02: FIELDS OF OPTICS | CHAPTER I: BIOCENOSIS, the audience is accompanied by artistic perspectives from the extremely diverse plant world from 3 talented young artists: Pham Xeen, Nha Phan and Ha My:

Phan Thị Thanh Nhã is a Botanist and Botanical Artist and illustrator. With a background as a botanist, Thanh Nhã entered the Botanical Art community in 2021, after a long time drawing Botanical Illustrations. She is an assistant lecturer at University of Science VNU-HCM. Thanh Nhã was the first representative of Vietnam to be honoured in the International Botanical Illustrations Competition at the Margaret Flockton Award in 2023 in Australia.

Through the lens of a botanist-artist, we delve into the layers of peeling, separating and each stage of development of each species. Phan Thị Thanh Nhã has a rigorous meticulousness, there is hardly a plant passed by that does not fall into her observation. Observation is an introduction, bringing each individual closer to living things, vision then gradually develops into touch, hearing, smell or taste, combining into a multi-sensory feast. Observation does not just stop at the perspective, but also involves a detailed analysis of each branch and blade of grass, and an understanding more than meets the eye through each page of the book during the identification process. Only those who have passion and love for nature and plants will choose this extremely detailed expression. More than 10 of Nhã‘s botanical art works become a research map for the natural habitat at Ana Mandara, which has existed for nearly a century.


Phạm Xeen is a painter who graduated as a Silk major at the University of Fine Arts of Ho Chi Minh City. His practice revolves around close-knit scenes, shops without human presence. For Xeen, composing means releasing emotions and welcoming empathetic perspectives. His debut solo exhibition “Who/ Where/ When” (2023) made an impact with the public with the artist’s process of exploring silk painting techniques while working with oil paint.

With Phạm Xeen, everything is filtered through a layer of fog, the entire scene appeared slowly, just like before the camera lens was adjusted to standard focus, the feeling of blurriness was now more present than ever. The streaks on Phạm Xeen‘s canvas form an unknown, dreamy space with fragmented memories. Activities and habitats are hidden under bits of rain and sunshine. Xeen uses silk painting techniques while working with oil paint, creating a blurred effect that is idiosyncratic of his practice.

Hà My is a painter who graduated in Graphic Design at Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Art. As one of the rare artists who persistently pursues Chinese traditional painting with the theme of ornithology-flower, she uses methods such as Copy Master and the Six Guiding Laws in Chinese painting to fully convey the essence of nature.

When the mist gradually dissipates, the creatures stretch and appear clearly. We can see the strong rise of vines and wildflowers invading the surfaces. The array of flaming trumpets glistens in the early morning sunlight, the water lilies shyly close to the lake resurface, the burro’s tail (or golden dewdrop) sparkles like their name… The bright patches and white spots represent the morning dew drops that have been portrayed extremely gracefully and elegantly by Hà My. My‘s subjects are birds and plants, also known as Ornithology-Flower Paintings in Chinese Painting. She applies the rules of the Six Laws in traditional Chinese paintings to fully convey natural objects.

Accompanying the three artists is the curatorial company Lân Tinh Foundation, a non-profit organization established in 2021 founded by Curator Ace Lê, with a mission to support the exhibition-making , research and archiving activities of modern and contemporary Vietnamese art. Key projects include research consulting for private and public collections, curatorial and educational support for exhibitions, and the Lân Tinh Fellowships programme for artists and art researchers.