Artist Trần Quốc Việt, 42, in Cần Thơ city is famous for his talent of curving a Buddha image into the roots of living trees that are 10 to 15 years old. He spends from one week to a month on each tree. — Photo nld.com.vn
HCM CITY — The Lunar New Year holiday offers great opportunities for artists in the Mekong Delta to earn high income from customers who request unique shapes for their ornamental trees, from an image of a Buddha to a favourite pet.
Artist Trần Quốc Việt, 42, in Cần Thơ city is famous for his talent of curving a Buddha image into the roots of living trees that are 10 to 15 years old. He spends from one week to a month on each tree.
“I have to travel to remote areas to look for an older tree to carve. This year, I had to hire three workers to support me,” Việt told the Người Lao Động (The Labourers) newspaper.
Việt sometimes gold plates his trees.
This year, Việt will display more than 100 artworks carved from tree roots which will sell from VNĐ5 - 7 million (US$200 – 320) each.
"I have some special products including 45-50 year-old tree roots that sell for VNĐ60 - 70 million ($2,500 – 3,200) each,” he said.
Trần Duy Phong, 34, in Sa Đéc City in Đồng Tháp Province is another artist who works with tree roots. He imports champa flower trees from Thailand and creates different shapes. The tree’s root can grow 20 cm each year.
“I’m sure that no garden in Việt Nam has the long-root champa tree like mine. I have already prepared 800 trees with prices ranging from VNĐ4 to 30 million ($200 – 1,300) each,” he said.
Nguyễn Kim Loan, in Cần Thơ City, uses peony flower plants to make shapes of pets.
She now has over 200 types of plants shaped like pets that sell for several hundred thousand đồng to several million đồng.
Loan owns a pair of dragon and turtle “pet” trees 2m high and 3m wide, made from 20-year-old peony flower trees. She sells this special ornamental tree for VNĐ400 million ($17,500). — VNS