March, 29 2012 10:07:59

Image of extinct rhino wins editorial cartoon competition


Missing piece: Tran Hai Nam's Mieng Ghep Nguoc (Upside-down Piece) won the Bamboo Dragon Cup, a competition focusing on the environment.
HA NOI — A cartoon symbolising the extinction of the rhino won top prize at the third The Thao&Van Hoa (Sports and Culture) newspaper's press caricature competition which this year focused on the environment

Ha Noi-based Tran Hai Nam was granted the Bamboo Dragon Cup for his Mieng Ghep Nguoc (Upside-down Piece) at the award ceremony yesterday.

The rhino cartoon was made in many parts, with the piece representing the rhino's head placed upside down. It was designed to remind people of the fact that the rhino is now extinct in Viet Nam.

"The pieces are arranged in the wrong way, similar to the way people behave with the environment," said Nam.

"The competition is an interesting playing field for artists, especially for amateur painters who love cartoon like me," he said.

The competition received support from the Danish Embassy through its Cultural Development and Exchange Fund. Danish Ambassador to Viet Nam John Nielsen stressed at the launch of the competition that "cartoons are a humorous way to create interest and raise awareness about critical issues such as the environment".

"The fact that the environment was chosen as this year's theme is very relevant. Viet Nam is facing a number of critical environmental issues due to rapid economic development and the effects of climate change," he said.

Viet Nam is among the countries suffering the most from pollution and environmental damages, making it very important to focus on the problem.

In this context, artists combined humour, caricatures and cartoons to raise awareness about environmental and climate issues.

Launched last November, the organising board received nearly 500 entries from amateur and professional painters throughout the country.

"The jury board was impressed by the creative ideas and diversified expressions of the entrants," said painter Ly Truc Dung, head of the jury.

He gave some examples of daring and unique cartoons such as a fish skeleton in a dirty river reproduced in the style of a masterpiece of Vietnamese fine folk arts depicting a carp watching the moon and wretched Atlas carrying a dirty Earth.

After the award ceremony, an exhibition of the artworks was opened along the pavement in front of 61 Ly Thai To Street, Ha Noi. It will run until April 3.

This exhibit was an initiative of the organising board to bring the works closer to the public, Dung said.

"People who are interested in fine arts and pedestrians walking past will feel free to enjoy the cartoon," he said. "It's a good way to send a message about protecting the environment to the people."

After the opening ceremony, the artworks will be sold to raise money for the Vietnam News Agency's Agent Orange Pain Fund. — VNS

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