Creating a new life for stamps

Painter Do Lenh Tuan is popular because he has not only designed many famous stamps but also brought “new life” to old stamps by sticking them to form pictures of landscapes and portraits of famous people, many of which feature Uncle Ho.

Tuan is always busy in a small room in his house, deep inside Quynh Lane in Hai Ba Trung District of Hanoi.

He loses himself among bottles of glue, brushes and boxes containing cuts of paper, which may be considered rubbish at first glance.

But looking at the boxes a second time, people may realise that they contain used stamps, an important material to form Tuan’s unique pictures.

Creating a new life for stamps

Painter Do Lenh Tuan works on a picture of Uncle Ho made with old stamps. 

Every day, he spends many hours carefully cutting small stamps. Some he cuts into pieces as small as finger nails, some as small as a peanut, some he needs only the same size as a bean or even a grain of rice. Then he puts glue on one side of the stamps with great care and carefully sticks them to the picture.

From time to time, he turns the whole box upside down to search for a suitable stamp, cutting a tiny piece from it to stick to the picture.

“Such a tiny piece is important as its colour is suitable to this part of the picture,” he said.

Through his skilled hands, the picture featuring Uncle Ho marching with soldiers is gradually formed.

In the picture, the image of President Ho appears in green khaki clothes, grey hair, with a high forehead, bright eyes following the soldiers’ marching steps to the front.

Only when seeing Tuan working with the stamps, one can feel the enthusiasm he puts in each picture.

Tuan said after graduating from the College of Industrial Fine Arts in 1985, he spent several years working different jobs before being recruited to work in the Stamp Company as a painter.

In the past 30 years, he has drawn thousands of stamps of landscape, animals and famous people.

In 1995, when the trend of making pictures from stamps spread, he was assigned to make pictures from expired stamps.

“It’s a challenging task with different stages,” he said. “Firstly, one should select the picture model to work on, then select stamps of suitable colours.”

The painter started to select stamps for the background, and stamps for different parts in the picture.

Tuan said selecting the right stamps with the right colours is very important as it decides “the soul” of the picture.

He makes 60-70 pictures from stamps a year. Some pictures take him 2-3 days while others take up to a month.

“The bigger picture it is, the longer time required to make it,” he said.

 

He received orders from companies to make pictures from stamps as souvenirs.

Beloved Uncle Ho

Mentioning pictures of Uncle Ho, Tuan has made some 500 in total including pictures based on file photos of President Ho in Viet Bac Military Base, Uncle Ho in Border Campaign, President Ho at the Presidential Palace’s Garden, Uncle Ho reading a newspaper, President Ho Chi Minh and President Ton Duc Thang and hundreds of Uncle Ho’s portraits.

Tuan said pictures of Uncle Ho are the most challenging ones.

“He is loved by everyone, so it’s a great pressure to feature his image,” he said. “If I don’t do it carefully, people will find mistakes in the pictures.”

He said he cannot rush as many pictures of Uncle Ho he has to make again and again.

“I should feature his vivid face, gentle eyes, his nose, his beard, high forehead and wrinkles on his forehead,” he said. “The President should look natural, simple and noble as his characteristic. It requires hard work to select the right colours.”

Creating a new life for stamps
A picture of Uncle Ho working in the garden of the Presidential Palace in Hanoi by painter Tuan. Photo vietnamstamp.com.vn

“In only the shadow and light on his forehead, I had to choose and cut small details from hundreds of stamps,” he said.

Hundreds of pictures featuring Uncle Ho require hundreds of colours and different stages. None of the pictures looks like one another as they are formed from different stamps.

“Whenever I finish a picture of Uncle Ho from stamps, I find inspiration for new meaningful artworks,” he said.

Tuan said he actually spent much time reading materials, watching documentaries and looking at photos of the President. He has even talked to people who had the chance to meet Uncle Ho to understand more about the President.

“The process of trying to understand Uncle Ho has left unforgettable memories inside me and my feelings to the late President have grown naturally,” he said.

This year marks the 130th birthday anniversary of Uncle Ho, so he has received a large number of orders for Uncle Ho’s pictures.

“I feel happy as many people like pictures of Uncle Ho I make from stamps,” Tuan said. “It means the job I have done in the past years has a certain meaning.” VNS

Phuong Lan

Man spends 20 years collecting documents of Uncle Ho

Man spends 20 years collecting documents of Uncle Ho

Many people collect photos, books and documents related to President Ho Chi Minh as a way to show their respect and deep gratitude to the Great Father who devoted his whole life for the nation and people. 

Hanoi farmer with a deep love for Uncle Ho

Hanoi farmer with a deep love for Uncle Ho

The small house in the small village looks like any other on the outskirts of Hanoi, but what's inside is astounding.

 
 

Other News

.
Spanish cuisine to be popularised in Hanoi
Spanish cuisine to be popularised in Hanoi
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  18/06/2020 

People in Hanoi will have an opportunity to explore Spanish cuisine at the World Tapa Day to be held in the capital on June 20.

Two exhibitions open at HCMC's Factory Contemporary Arts Centre
Two exhibitions open at HCMC's Factory Contemporary Arts Centre
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  18/06/2020 

Two solo exhibitions of artists Huong Ngo and Thy Nguyen will open at the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre on June 19.

Veteran artist draws to preserve ethnic clothes
Veteran artist draws to preserve ethnic clothes
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  18/06/2020 

Veteran artist Do Duc is displaying his lacquer paintings on ethnic clothes for the first time at his house at Thong Dong Ville at 15B, 656 Lane, Lac Long Quan Street, Hanoi.

Christian Coleman: World 100m champion provisionally suspended after third missed drugs test
Christian Coleman: World 100m champion provisionally suspended after third missed drugs test
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/06/2020 

World 100m champion Christian Coleman is provisionally suspended after missing a third doping test, says the Athletics Integrity Unit.

Sky Tour leads box office
Sky Tour leads box office
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  18/06/2020 

A documentary featuring popular singer Son Tung’s live shows in 2019 is leading the box office.

Hanoi concert to honour forefront ‘soldiers’ in COVID-19 fight
Hanoi concert to honour forefront ‘soldiers’ in COVID-19 fight
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/06/2020 

A special concert entitled “We Return” will take place in Hanoi on June 19 as a “thank-you” gesture to those who have been on the frontlines in the battle against COVID-19, gathering together over 130 artists from Vietnam’s three largest orchestras.

Drama troupe offers new shows in Hanoi style
Drama troupe offers new shows in Hanoi style
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/06/2020 

Le Ngoc Drama, one of Hanoi’s leading private theatres, will offer a series of new shows at HCM City’s Opera House next week. 

Sketches showing different aspects of life on display
Sketches showing different aspects of life on display
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/06/2020 

An exhibition of more than 100 sketches opened yesterday in Hanoi giving a new perspective on sketching.

Beauty queens shine in Ao Dai bearing images of national sea and islands
Beauty queens shine in Ao Dai bearing images of national sea and islands
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

Ngoc Han, Miss Vietnam 2010, participated in a press conference on June 16 alongside many other beauty queens to launch a national marathon championship by Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper in Hanoi.

Musical drama for children to be restaged
Musical drama for children to be restaged
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

The musical drama Tấm Cám (Tấm and Cám), a production written by Hung Lam, will be restaged in a new version 20 years after its first release in HCM City.

Coach Park among the best coaches in Asia: Fox Sports
Coach Park among the best coaches in Asia: Fox Sports
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

Fox Sports Asia has selected Vietnam’s coach Park Hang-seo as one of the nine best coaches in Asia.

Social distancing paintings on display in Hanoi
Social distancing paintings on display in Hanoi
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

The People newspaper and the Vietnam Fine Arts Association displayed paintings created during social distancing on Monday in Hanoi.

Vietnamese folk games: sitting tug-of-war and clay firecracker hurling
Vietnamese folk games: sitting tug-of-war and clay firecracker hurling
YOUR VIETNAMicon  17/06/2020 

Traditional folk games have played an important role in Vietnamese culture. They still have been an almost magical attractions for Vietnamese children, and are played in every corner of the nation.

Historic hats returned to former glory
Historic hats returned to former glory
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/06/2020 

Royal hats dating back to the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) that were ravaged by the passing of time have been restored to their original splendour thanks to artisan Vu Kim Loc in HCM City.

Ao dai show impresses visitors to Hoi An
Ao dai show impresses visitors to Hoi An
VIDEOicon  16/06/2020 

More than 3,000 tourists, on June 14, flooded the Hoi An Impression Theme Park to enjoy an Ao dai (Vietnam’s traditional long dress) show with the theme of Vietnam’s landscapes.

Quan ho singing programme launched in HCM City
Quan ho singing programme launched in HCM City
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

A quan họ (love duet) singing programme will be held at cultural houses and traditional art clubs in HCM City, Le Tu Cam, chairman of the HCM City Cultural Heritage Association, said. 

Vietnam Telefilm to take place in September
Vietnam Telefilm to take place in September
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

The International Film and Television Exhibition will take place in HCM City between September 17 and 19 gathering more than 100 domestic and international companies working in the field, according to organisers.

New books for Vietnamese children released
New books for Vietnamese children released
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

New novels and books on environmental studies for children from Vietnamese and international authors have been released to entertain young audiences during the summer.

Vietnam boasts of various UNESCO intangible cultural heritages
Vietnam boasts of various UNESCO intangible cultural heritages
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  15/06/2020 

The Hue Royal Court Music became Vietnam’s first-ever UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritage in 2008. After 12 years, Vietnam now has 13 intangible cultural heritages receiving global recognition.

Hanoi poised to host first international standard art auction
Hanoi poised to host first international standard art auction
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  16/06/2020 

Vietnam’s first international standard art auction titled "Arts du Vietnam - Vietnam Art" is set to get underway at the Sofiel Metropole Hanoi Hotel on No 15 Ngo Quyen street in the capital on June 27.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN