Irvine Fine Arts Center

Be Ky and Ho Thanh Duc's styles and attitudes stem from their early childhood years. Both were orphans and suffered growing up in a country torn apart by war. Be Ky expresses a longing for a family she never had, while Ho Thanh Duc displays the loneliness of a child cut off from his parents in a violent world. His art depicts a nightmare world of sadness and isolation, although his more recent works concentrate on issues of healing and bonding, with a sense of hope for the future.

While attending the National Institute of Fine Arts in Saigon, Ho Thanh Duc began creating collages from newspapers and magazines because he could no longer afford paint and supplies. His talent was soon recognized and throughout his career he has received numerous award and honors. During the 60's he and his wife represented South Vietnam at several international exhibitions throughout the world. He also became a professor of Fine Arts at Van Hanh University in Saigon and in the 70's was Dean of the Faculty of Practical Art at the Southern Region University.

Beky was a prodigy at age 15 and although she received no formal college training, she was mentored by three of Vietnam most established artists. Typical modern Vietnamese motifs such as mother and child, musicians, cock fights, and vignettes of everyday family life are carried out the graceful, fluid lines and watercolor technique on silk and canvas. Both she and Ho Thanh Duc work with lacquer on wood as well, which is highly revered art form in Vietnam. Be Ky and Ho Thanh Duc continue to express the feelings that had once been silenced in Vietnam and are changing the pain of their bittersweet memories into something positive in the artwork and life.


Old man and the shamisen


Mother bathing son


The young Beky at work