Word into Art, £16.99
Height: 270.000 mm
Width: 390.000 mm
Purchased with the Brooke Sewell Permanent Fund
Asia OA 1999.10-4.06
Quang Tho, a graphite drawing
Vietnam, signed and dated, March 1965
'Women entered the battlefield and are selling cake. Quang Binh'
This drawing shows two women with boxes of bananas and bread rolls, one opening a notebook. They are shown underneath a tarpaulin tent with a woven bamboo screen to one side. Surrounding them are soldiers, some smoking, some eating the bread rolls and biscuits. It is the first year of America's ten-year involvement in the Vietnam War.
The sketch is inscribed 'Women entered the battlefield and are selling cake. Quang Binh'
Quang Tho (1929-2001) enlisted in the army in 1945 to fight against the French and began to record events through his drawings. In 1955 he was sent by the army to the Fine Arts College, Hanoi, graduating in 1963. From 1963 to 1975 he continued to serve with the army during the war against America, achieving the rank of colonel. He served in some of the most dangerous places, often drawing while he was actually under fire or being bombed.
J. Harrison-Hall, Vietnam Behind the Lines: Imag (London, British Museum Press, 2002)