1. Are you a good painter?
No, I don’t have any aptitude for (năng khiếu) drawing at all, but I wish I did. I am interested in painting, but just can’t stand the sluggish process (quá trình chậm chạp) of making thousands of small additions to the first sketch to complete a painting. Take pointillism as an example, who can’t count the number of dots in each painting, not to mention the perspective arrangement for the depth of the picture. That is way too much for me to handle.
2. Do you believe what art critics (nhà phê bình nghệ thuật) say?
To tell the truth, I am not knowledgeable about art, and I have almost no doubt about opinions of art critics who spend their whole life researching for their critiques. (bài phê bình) Also, thanks to (nhờ vào) their art evaluations, the different layers of meaning of a work of art can be more deeply understood
3. Do you consider yourself a good artist?
No, no way. I don’t have the superb vocal quality (thanh âm tốt) or an ear for music, (cảm âm tốt) or a brain that allows me to develop dexterity (sự khéo léo nhanh nhẹn) for playing musical instruments, or a visual imagination for a painter, or whatsoever. I don’t have any. As a matter of fact, the talent of art does not run in my family. (gia đình tôi không có gene nghệ thuật)
4. Do you enjoy your art class at school?
I did have art class for painting and music but I took them half-heartedly (nửa vời) only because I was so slow in remembering music notation (cách viết nhạc) and so clumsy (vụng về) in producing the art works.
5. Do you like modern art?
Yes I do, things like tensegrity (nghệ thuật kết cấu 3 chiều ổn định – dùng dây chằng kéo các phần của 1 tác phẩm nghệ thuật để tạo hình) or installation art (nghệ thuật sắp đặt) would be appealing to (hấp dẫn) me. I kind of like the art that is free from boundaries of rules and regulations, and that allows the diverse expressions of the self without fear of comparison with standards or criticism.
6. Do you like sketching? (phác họa)
No, I don’t. I find myself quite clumsy in producing the outline for any scene or object. And above all, I find it pointless to do so, and I would entrust this work to a painter when I need some drawings done.
7. Do you like to visit art museums?
Yes, I do find it fascinating to visit art museums because I really appreciate the hard work of artists that consummates (thể hiện toàn vẹn) in the masterpieces on display (kiệt tác được trưng bày) in museums. I wish one day I would have a chance to go to Louvre museum in France to behold the works of famous painters in the art history like Picasso, Monet, and Vincent van Gogh.
8. Do you like wood carving?
Yes, sure. Those woodworks often give me big awes (làm tôi há hốc mồm vì ngạc nhiên) because of the tiny details of them. It must take ages to finish I really admire the patience of the sculptors (nghệ nhân điêu khắc) who create wooden figures and sculptures. (tác phẩm điêu khắc) With only a piece of wood and a chisel with a mallet, (cái đục và cái búa) they can bring the lively world into their art works.
9. Do you prefer using water colors or oil paint?
I don’t know much about painting, but I have the feeling that water colours can give pictures more sharpness (sắc nét) while oil paint is more blurred. This is just my personal feeling of a lay man. (người ngoài nghề, không có chuyên môn)
10. Do you think it is proper to call nude paintings art?
Obviously, it is a form of art honoring the beauty of the human body. However, its admirers are quite restricted, and I think as long as it serves to please a certain group of people in society, it should be recognized and respected. Also, I think many have to admit that producing a nude painting is as painstaking (kì công) as any other types of drawing.
11. Do you think music and dancing are forms of art?
Sure they are together with cinematography, photography, literature, and architecture, etc.
12. Do you think of cartoons and comics as art?
Yes I do, they involves lots of drawing, so basically they are paintings on storyboards (bảng vẽ cảnh + lời thoại…) which are made into reading or cinematic products.
13. Do you visit museums when you go to another city?
I do, but only when the destination has a very interesting culture dating back hundreds of years. I love to see something ancient like that rather than learning about things of my parents or grand parents’ generation only.
14. What famous painters do you know? What are they famous for?
I just know Picasso with his world-wide famous abstract paintings.(tranh trừu tượng) I still remember the picture he drew about the Spanish civil war Guernica which is loaded with around 20 layers of meaning. Its values lie in the messages the painting conveys, (truyền đạt) not in the drawing technique itself because his brushstrokes (nét vẽ) are not really neat (gọn) and depict (mô tả) things as children practice painting.
15. What would life be like without art?
Art is extolled (ca ngợi) because it thrives on creativity. (phát triển trên sự sáng tạo) It adds colours and meaning to human life, so if there were no art, the world would be somehow monotonous (đơn điệu thế nào ấy). Art also embodies (là hiện thân của) messages that convey ideas more strongly and effectively than other forms of publication. Take pictures as an example, a picture of disgusting man cutting the earth piece by piece to put into his mouth speaks louder than any words about how destructive humans are to our planet. Without art, such a strong message could hardly be expressed that powerfully.