Ngô Viễn Chí
b. 1944, Nam Dinh
Ngô Viễn Chí (born as Vũ Hữu Xưởng) started studying drawing and painting at a young age before joining the North Vietnamese army in the early 1960s. He specialized in documenting the war effort in the resistance (Viet Cong) controlled areas, including weapons manufacturing, growing of medicinal plants and the preparation of medicines. Chí became an accomplished watercolour painter, with notable works that were widely exhibited, including 40 Năm Kháng Chiến, 40 Resistance Years; Kho Tàng Cục Hậu Cần Miền Đông Nam Bộ, Treasury Department of Logistics of the South East (1974); Chợ Cá Sông Đốc Cà Mau, Fish Market of Đốc River, Cà Mau province; Tàu Bạn Vào Cảng Sài Gòn, Friendship Ship comes to Saigon port (1978); Đồ Hộp Tân Bình, Canned Food, Tân Bình (1980).
Most of his art works from the wartime were lost during the conflict, due to water damage and having to flee areas that came under aerial bombardment. His awards included the Medal of The Resistance War Against the US, 3rd Rank, as well as a medal for his Vietnamese Fine Art Career and a medal for his ‘Information and Culture’ career. Chí became a member of the Vietnam Fine Art Association in 1977 and, like many wartime artists, was unable to continue his studies until after the war ended. In 1975, he settled in Ho Chi Minh City and graduated from Ho Chi Minh City Fine Art University in 1982. He died in Ho Chi Minh City in 2012.
(Biography provided by Witness Collection)