by Thu Anh
Painter strives to do justice to President Ho Chi Minh
Very few artists have strived to capture the soul and spirit of President Ho Chi Minh in as many ways as Ha Noi painter Tran Mai.
Over a period of 18 years, Mai completed 81 paintings of the revered leader as he took part in revolutionary activities to fight for the country's independence.
"It was very difficult to depict his spirit because, for Vietnamese, he is like a saint. But he is familiar, too," said Mai.
When Mai first displayed his collection to the public in Ha Noi in 2009, viewers were left spellbound. Many of the works were later on display at museums and cultural houses, or bought by collectors around the country.
"Mai used only white and reddish-brown to portray President Ho Chi Minh in different states. I can see and feel the leader of the Vietnamese through his art," said Vu Tang of Ha Noi's Hoan Kiem District, who has seen the artists' works. "He surprised me by the depth of his emotion and skill."
One big work, which Mai painted for himself, is displayed in his house in Cua Nam Street. Women and soldiers who made many sacrifices in the war have often burst into tears when seeing the painting.
Mai, 78, studied at the Indochina Fine Arts College and began working for the Ha Noi Post Office in 1954, making posters and stamps. Over the years, he won several top prizes at international poster painting contests in Cuba and Russia.
"My art has brought me to viewers all over the world," he said, smiling.
6,000 young doctors give free exams to the poor
"I found myself helping poor women and children. I understood that my duty was to provide treatment and get paid less than normal, or even nothing," Nguyen Van Xuan, doctor of the Pham Ngoc Thach Hospital in HCM City, said.
Xuan was among 6,000 young doctors, nurses and healthcare workers from hospitals across the country who took part in the national Young Doctors Festival organised last Sunday by the Viet Nam Young People's Association in co-operation with the Viet Nam Young Doctors Association.
The doctors offered free treatment and drugs to more than 100,000 poor people living in remote areas in all 63 provinces in the country. They also provided first-aid training to 5,000 teachers at 700 pre-schools.
Twelve-year-old Chau Van Sang, who lives in Binh Xa Commune in Tuyen Quang Province's Ham Yen District, said that the villagers did not view Xuan and the other doctors as strangers.
"I see them as members of our family," he said, adding that he wanted to become a doctor in the future.
Besides the free medical check-up, Sang said he was also given food and clothes.
"I enjoyed giving treatment to Sang and the other children of ethnic minorities in Tuyen Quang. For these kids, I was not only a doctor but also a brother they loved and trusted," Xuan said. "I learned useful lessons about love, sharing and devotion from my patients." — VNS