Culture Culture

21/09/2021 - 07:56

Copyright protection for Trucchigraphy art

Since its birth in 2011, Trucchigraphy art (papercraft made from bamboo) has obtained great achievements in the fields of visual arts as well as applied arts. However, in the process of development, the unique art form created by artist Phan Hai Bang in Hue has suffered repeated copyright infringements.

Artist Phan Hai Bang devotes much enthusiasm to the creation and dissemination of the values ​​of Trucchigraphy art

Copyright infringement

At the end of July, on their personal Facebook pages, many artists spoke out about the copyright infringement of Trucchigraphy art. They talked about an exhibition of Trucchigraphy paintings in Hanoi by artist Nguyen Thanh Phuong. In addition, Mr. Phuong also has a website selling Trucchigraphy paintings named Ha Thanh Trucchigraphy.

Nguyen Son’s Facebook post read: "Trucchigraphy paintings were created by artist Phan Hai Bang, that's what everyone in the art world knows. I wonder why experts who attended an exhibition of “Trucchigraphy” in Hanoi, which was not organized by its creator Phan Hai Bang, could possibly ignore it?

Trucchigraphy paintings

Nguyen Thanh Binh posted on his Facebook page the "Certificate of copyright registration" of Trucchigraphy granted by the Copyright Bureau and affirmed: "Here is the trademark copyright of Trucchigraphy art. This is the result of long-standing independent research by Phan Hai Bang, and the developer is artist Ngo Dinh Bao Vi.”

Copyright registration certificate is granted to artist Ngo Dinh Bao Vi and owner of Vietnam Trucchigraphy Art One Member Company Limited (Hue City). The work is certified as "Form of expressing the Trucchigraphy logo", and is belonged to applied arts.

According to artist Phan Hai Bang, founder of Trucchigraphy Vietnam, the abuse of Trucchigraphyhas happened for a long time, in many ways and with many objects, from concept to method, and even the name. However, such actions may only represent blind self-interest.

This time, with a somewhat serious nature and affecting professional honor as well as serious academia at a fine arts higher education institution, we are forced to speak up to clarify once again, in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and troubles hereafter.

He said: “There has appeared a so-called Trucchigraphy in Hanoi that uses our registered name as Vietnamese Trucchigraphy Art for business and production. It's worth mentioning that, somehow, some lecturers and students are very supportive. It looks like there will be next steps to bring it into the art school, even though we have organized a Trucchigraphy papercraft workshop for 2nd year graphic students at Vietnam University of Fine Arts in November 2019”.

On his personal Facebook page, artist Phan Hai Bang presents the main documents related to the formation and development of Trucchigraphy Art, to redefine concepts, ideas, history as well as technical processes, the ability to meet social needs, creative needs, etc., of Trucchigraphy.

Registering intellectual property for Trucchigraphy

Trucchigraphy is the creation of Phan Hai Bang, and this fact is undeniable. However, this is not the first time Trucchigraphy’s copyright has been violated. On the market, there are many types of Trucchigraphy-like art, under a different name, there are even many places that sell Trucchigraphypaintings, but the products are not done by artist Phan Hai Bang and his associates. This has infringed on the Vietnamese values that Trucchigraphy has been building and preserving.

Creation with Trucchigraphy. Archived photo.

Artist Ngo Dinh Bao Vi, project manager of Trucchigraphy Art Vietnam, frustratingly commented: "In a very cunning way, they took the original concept (paper artwork) of Trucchigraphy but deliberately ignored it, only strongly emphasizing the materials and some minor techniques in the process. The appearance of products resembling Trucchigraphy, even pretending to be Trucchigraphy, not only blatantly violates our research creativity, but also deliberately lowers a new Vietnamese cultural value that we and the society worked hard to build for Hue and Vietnam”.

According to the analysis of curator Ace Lee (Singapore) published in Thanh Nien Newspaper, it is true that the Trucchigraphy logo has been copyrighted. However, instead of registering it under the trademark category at the National Bureau of Intellectual Property, artist Ngo Dinh Bao Vi and Trucchigraphy Vietnam Company registered it under the copyright category at the Copyright Bureau. In this form, it only protects the visual form, but not the name. Mr. Ace Lee said that artist Phan Hai Bang could register a patent for the technique of Trucchigraphy.

Regarding the registration of intellectual property, the painter Ngo Dinh Bao Vi said that for many years, on many occasions, they have worked with the National Bureau of Intellectual Property and lawyers on international intellectual property. However, the registration of intellectual property on a creative technique is unprecedented, quite complicated, nevertheless, we are still working on becoming the first precedent.

This is extremely crucial, as Trucchigraphy aims to be a “Made in Vietnam” branding, researched and created by Vietnamese people rather than interpretations from neighboring countries. It is evident that only with Trucchigraphy, the traditional way of making paper combines with the methods of graphics, shaping, and artist's thinking so that each piece of paper becomes a work of its own. Only with Trucchigraphy, can the final result be considered a real work of art.

Story and photos: MINH HIEN