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Colour of Central Highlands in Y Nhi Ksor’s paintings

Y Nhi Ksor is the first and only ethnic minority person earning the Master degree in fine arts in a southern and Central Highlands regions.

Y Nhi Ksor, a painter of E De ethnic minority group, was born in 1960 in Sek village, Yea Haleo district. After graduating from the Hue Fine Arts University in 1988, he worked as a lecturer for the Culture and Art College in Dak Lak province. He then continued studying for Master degree at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts University.

Y Nhi Ksor had a passion for painting when he was six years of age as his father was a talented artisan. Y Nhi Ksor has created a modest number of painting: 30, but won quite a lot of prizes. After winning the consolation prize at the First Ethnic Minority Groups’ Fine Arts Exhibition in 1993 with the painting ‘Mua Tra Hat’ (Sowing Season), Y Nhi Ksor won many other prizes such as the consolation prize at the Fine Arts Exhibition for southern central and Central Highlands areas with the painting ‘Ruou Mung’ (Wine for Celebration) in 1998; the A prize at the Dak Lak province’s Fine Arts Exhibition in 2004 with painting ‘Le Trao Vong’ (Bracelet Presentation Ceremony); the consolation prize of the Vietnam – Sweden Cultural Fund in 2001 and many others.

Painting of Y Nhi Ksor is displayed at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. He has become member of the Vietnam Fine Arts Association since 1994.

Y Nhi revealed that “ the Central Highlands is where I was born and grew up. Although it is now still poor and backward, I love my homeland anyway and want to express that sentiment in my paintings.”

Y Nhi chooses hot colours, mainly red and black in his oil paintings with strong and simple lines. He said that only hot colours can depict the land and people of the Central Highlands. “I use red for land, dark blue for characters and dark violet blue for sky,” said Y Nhi.

Y Nhi’s paintings not only show the harmony between people and nature. Recently, he turned to a new method in expression: using images to meaningful messages to viewers. His fresh painting ‘Su Noi Gian Cua Nu Than Mat Troi’ (The Anger of the Sun Goddess), with expressive colour and image, shows the desperate resistance to people’s destruction of the nature.

Y Nhi has helped trained a lot of students but he still has a worry that most of his students are Kinh majority people. Therefore, Y Nhi said he wished the State would give encouragements to ethnic minority people to learn arts. This is now a urgent need when there are just a couple of painters from the Central Highlands. Older than Y Nhi is painter Xu Man of Ba Na ethnic minority group, born in 1925 and younger than Y Nhi is only 40 year old painter Y Ko Nie of E De ethnic group, but he rarely paints. For Y Nhi himself, as having to spend most of his time for lecturing, so he has created not many paintings. “I always try to spend more time creating paintings. I have various real-life experiences about my homeland and therefore I can’t stop it,” said Y Nhi.

VIETNAMNET - (19/07/2006)

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