The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has just decided to amend a part of its decision on sanctioning administrative violations against painter Bui Chat (real name Bui Quang Vien). Accordingly, this artist is only fined, not forced to destroy his paintings.
In early August, the Ho Chi Minh City government issued a decision that stirred up public opinion when it imposed a fine of VND25 million ($1,100) and forced the author to destroy 29 of his paintings after holding an exhibition of these paintings for 15 days without permission.
Painter Bui Chat said that on August 31, the authorities invited him to work and said that there was a new decision related to him and on September 5, the artist received a revised decision.
The amended decision signed by Vice Chairman of the City People’s Committee Duong Anh Duc on August 23 on amending a part of Decision No. 2696 administratively sanctioning Mr. Bui Quang Vien, does not force him to destroy paintings as in the decision signed by this office on August 9.
The partial modification of the sanctioning decision is because “through the appraisal, the 29 paintings on exhibition did not show any content that violates fine customs and traditions, and there is no expression of content that goes against the cultural and artistic line of the Party and State and Mr. Bui Quang Vien were aware of the violation and wished not to destroy 29 paintings.”
According to Mr. Bui Quang Vien, the correction of the decision not to destroy the paintings shows that the government listens to the people’s critical voices and shows their goodwill in solving specific cultural issues.
Painter Bui Chat said that in the near future he will consider filing an administrative lawsuit against the decision of the City People’s Committee to reduce the number of fines.
Painter Bui Chat, born in 1979, is known before for many poems. He was awarded the Freedom of Publishing 2011 by the International Publishing Association for being the founder and operator of Giấy Vụn Publishing House.
Security services detained him for two days after he returned from Argentina, where he was honored with the award.
Police also interrogated him many times because of his poetry, but he has never been punished.