Ho Chi Minh

Message Sent To The Artists On The Occasion Of The 1951 Painting Exhibition

First Published: December 10, 1951
Source: Selected Works of Ho Chi Minh Vol. 3
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House
Transcription/Markup: Christian Liebl
Online Version: Ho Chi Minh Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2003

Dear artists,

Being informed of your exhibition, I regret that owing to pressure of work, I cannot visit it; I herewith convey you my fraternal greetings. I take this opportunity of sending for your consideration some view points regarding fine arts.

Literature and arts belong to the same front, on which you are fighters.

Like other fighters, you, in the artistic field, have your own responsibilities — to serve the Resistance, the Fatherland and the people, first and foremost the workers, peasants and soldiers.

To fulfil your tasks, you must have a firm class stand and a sound ideology; in short you must place the interests of the Resistance, of the Fatherland and of the people above all.

With regard to your creative work, it is necessary that you understand, get in touch with and go deeply into, the people's life. Only by so doing, will you be able to convey the heroism and determination of our soldiers and people as a whole and to contribute to the development and improvement of these qualities. Our Resistance has made great progress; our soldiers and people have made big strides forward, so will you, in the artistic field, by means of criticism and self-criticism.

Some of you may think: President Ho tries to turn fine arts into a political matter.

Nothing is more true. Literature and arts, like all other activities, cannot be taken apart from the economic and political fields, but they must be included in them.

Our people’s future is most glorious, and the future of our fine arts is very bright. I wish you good health, progress and succeess in your work.

Greetings of friendship and
determination to win
December 10, 1951