by Thu Anh
Butterfly art finds its wings
HCM City's souvenir shops along such picturesque streets as Dong Khoi, Le Loi and Nguyen Hue abound with pictures made from butterflies, most of which have been created by amateur artists.
Truong Minh Hoang of Dong Nai Province is one such artisan. As a boy, he loved to collect butterflies and enjoyed conducting research on ways to how to preserve butterfly wings and use them in artworks.
Five years ago, Hoang began making the butterfly pieces, which include flowers and leaves made from paper and plastic, and a gift shop on Dong Khoi Street asked him about this work. He later became a major supplier for the shop.
He often travels to Lam Dong and Dong Nai provinces, asking local gardeners to provide him with 40 kinds of butterflies.
Hoang says he uses high-tech methods to place his pictures in hermetically sealed glass frames, which helps to preserve them for at least 10 years.
Selling for VND100,000 (US$5) to VND1.2 million (US$50) each, the pieces are sold in dozens of bookstores and gift shops.
Whether descriptive or abstract, his works have captured the hearts of many foreigners. "My pictures amaze foreign customers through their Vietnamese characters," he says. "Most of them like the village scenes because of their creativity and meticulous construction."
First doctorate of agriculture
Y Ghi Nie, a 55-year-old E De man living in Dak Lak Province's Krong Pak District is the first ethnic minority member in the Central Highlands to have been awarded a doctorate in agriculture.
In 2002, with his thesis "Solutions to develop sustainable cattle-breeding in Dac Lac Province's Ea Kar area," Nie received top marks from examiners at Ha Noi National University. The proposed seven solutions have been applied successfully to some farms in his province.
Nie's research, which was initially about breeding, was conducted by the Ea Kar's Agriculture Office in 1998.
In 2004, Nie and his staff announced their research work on using computer fonts for six Tay Nguyen ethnic languages for office software programmes. This effort helped expand usage of local languages among the residents.
Nie has conducted dozens of solo and group research works about agricultural and environmental development in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands).
In his presentation at a scientific seminar hosted in Dak Lak last year, Nie said that he wanted "to help my people live better."
He is now the director of Dak Lak Province's Science and Technology Department and chairman of Dak Lak's Science and Technology Association. — VNS