Culture Culture

13/11/2018 - 07:47

Ngo Dinh Bao Vi’s wish for Truc chi

Truc chi Art emphasizes a new value not only for Hue but also for Vietnam. Apart from the founder - painter Phan Hai Bang, there remains a silent contributor: female artist Ngo Dinh Bao Vi - who shaped and developed the applied aspect of this unique art form.

Painter Ngo Dinh Bao Vi. Photo credit: M. Hien

On first predestined acquaintance

Seemingly, this young lady from Dong Thap province - Ngo Dinh Bao Vi did not join the majority when she chose to study arts in Ho Chi Minh City but ended up in Hue to pursue her career. By a strange twist of fate, artist Ngo Dinh Bao Vi first acquainted herself to Truc chi in Da Lat during the first exhibition held by painter Phan Hai Bang in XQ Dalat. Painter Bao Vi vividly recalled that moment, when her heart skipped a beat discovering that “something” she had long been looking for.

She shared: "On my creative pathway, I happened to know Truc chi. It was a predestined encounter that changed everything. I chose Truc chi for the similarity it shared with my art journey. Truc chi art is truly a new land for creativity as its wide-ranging application shows no signs of challenge for any idea or concept."

Only after 10 days to experience Truc chi in Hue, Bao Vi decided to abandon her thriving leather workshop she had struggled to build in Ho Chi Minh City to pursue Truc chi in Hue. At that time, Truc chi, created by painter Phan Hai Bang, was primarily appreciated for its aesthetic content.

Since with Bao Vi, Truc chi has featured both fine arts and applied arts. Bao Vi is responsible for drawing up the applications to design Truc chi products, souvenir objects, interior and exterior decorations, fashion accessories, and jewelry.

Applied arts in Truc chi are not just confined to decorative paintings but can develop to more product lines such as personal gifts and accessories such as umbrella, hat, hand fan, wallet, tie, lantern… that are simply widely valued and accepted. While creativity in fine arts purely demonstrates beauty to admire, applied arts creativity emphasizes function besides aesthetic values.

Bao Vi expressed: "I came to Truc with a curious mind, and I always sought to explore all possibilities that Truc chi could offer. After 6 years of operation, we - the people who work with Truc chi are still in complete surprise at its endless flexibility.

Artwork "Khai hoa" by Trucchigraphy. Photo credit: M. Hien

With tireless creative efforts, artists such as Phan Hai Bang, Ngo Dinh Bao Vi have made Truc chi the chosen gift for the Japanese Emperor when he visited Hue, for outstanding entrepreneurs of 2017, and for Phu Tho province by the Ministry of Science and Technology during Hung King’s commemoration day. Recently, Truc chi has been involved in contemporary art projects, such as the Congress Tunnel Contemporary Art Project, the Oversea Dance and Exhibitions project in Lyon, France.

Take Truc chi far and further

In Truc chi, Bao Vi is both a designer and a general manager who takes responsibility for all activities. Each working day of artist Bao Vi is a new day of unknown possibilities. In addition to the traditionally styled products, she and her colleagues are striving to create a more contemporary and applied designs of Truc chi.

She recalls: "Phan Hai Bang has created Truc chi, then I should be the one to maintain, nurture, and develop it, while other fellows benefit by working with this new valued art.

With this aim in mind, every single artwork we create should hold a strong pride in Hue and Viet culture. “For the seemingly endless possibilities we see in Truc chi, we expect to spread the Vietnamese spirit far and wide through this form of art. We create this value for the Vietnamese, for this country, then why not have Truc chi in each Viet house?"

A stage of making Truc chi. Photo: Hoang Hai

Bao Vi said that despite her desire for creating more popular art products, hence more jobs for local people, there was still no feasible project. "Hopefully, I can find the most practical approach for developing this new value for Hue and Vietnam. In doing so, Truc chi needs to be widely supported by various sectors, social organizations, and the government to build and maintain its sustainable value,” Vi said.

When being asked about any regretful moment after giving up her hectic life in Saigon to choose Hue, Bao Vi shook her head: "My father is from Hue, and half of my blood embraces the image of Huong river and Ngu Binh mount. Perhaps this is what helped me quickly adapt to change. When one finds the goal and joy of life, there is hardly any moment left for regret.

By Minh Hien