|Much missed: Nghe Cuoi, a book featuring cartoons as well as poems and songs by the late lamented Choe, one of Viet Nam's most popular cartoonists.
HCM City (VNS)— A book featuring a collection of works by one of Viet Nam's most famous cartoonists is set to be launched in HCM City today.
To be sold in Phuong Nam Books outlets, Nghe Cuoi (Laughing Business) will feature some of the best works by the late Choe, real name Nguyen Hai Chi.
Choe combined cartoons with oil paintings, which makes his works lively besides being funny.
His works provide an insight into Viet Nam through its people and their characteristics while creating the distinct feeling that the world and its people are by nature simple and free.
The book also includes several poems and short stories and songs by the artist.
Choe, born in 1943 in An Giang Province, started his career at a newspaper in then Sai Gon (now HCM City) at the age of 22.
His cartoons about the Vietnamese and their lifestyles were an instant hit with millions of readers at home and abroad.
Political cartoons lampooning public figures in the former US-backed Sai Gon administration in the 1960s and 1970s won him both fans and critics.
In 1973 a collection of Choe's cartoons was published in the form of a book, The World of Choe, by the US-based Glade Publications.
In 1995 he was the only Vietnamese cartoonist to be featured at the Asia-Pacific Cartoon Exhibition organised by the Japan Foundation's Asean Culture Centre in Tokyo.
His works have appeared in many Vietnamese and foreign publications including Time, The New York Times, Chicago Daily News, and Ashahi Shimbun.
The prolific and versatile artist produced some 15,000 cartoons in his lifetime, mainly targeting corruption, social vices, and violence against women, winning the admiration of art lovers and common people alike.
They have also been displayed at many solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad.
He died in 2003 after a long battle with illness. — VNS