Saturday, August 18 2018

VietNamNews

A life of designing buildings and collecting dolls

Update: June, 02/2018 - 09:00
Stylish: Ly’s dolls are varied in styles. Photo courtesy of Hương Ly
Viet Nam News

Ngô Thị Hương Ly has a career in architecture and a passion for dolls.

Her doll collection is one of the largest in Việt Nam.

Both her career and her passion keep her busy.

She once flew to Hà Nội on business and had only a backpack for her clothes.

However, she had a full case of dolls.

 

By Lê Hương

Working in any field requires sound physical and mental health, while passion is required to work and live to the fullest.

HCM City-based architect Ngô Thị Hương Ly applies that philosophy to her life to balance work and play.

She has a passion for dolls and owns one of the largest collections of dolls in the country.

“When we follow a passion, our mind is well nurtured,” she told Việt Nam News. “This passion helps us to perfect our work at a higher level.”

“There is a belief that dolls are meant for young girls. I too liked playing with dolls when I was young. And before I knew, it turned into a passion, which I have nurtured to date,” Ly says.

Her collection of 500 dolls can be divided into four categories: dolls wearing traditional costumes of Việt Nam and other countries ; dolls of Disney characters; Barbie dolls of famous actors; and dolls produced by Integrity Toys, which are mostly fashionable dolls with costumes designed by famous brands.

She also has 12 male dolls with attractive masculine features that make a good pair with the female dolls.

 “I have foreign-manufactured dolls with Asian features and black hair and I get traditional long dresses tailor-made for them,” Ly says.

She displays the most beautiful Vietnamese dolls in her office.

“Collecting dolls requires skill as it involves minute details,” she says. “As an architect, my job is to design tall buildings, which requires heart, mind and energy as it involves the living quality of many people. Besides knowledge and experience, being careful helps me design better-quality, convenient and safe buildings.”

Ly says she often sends her designs as entries to contests and that she has got most of her contracts by winning in those contests. She has used most of her cash rewards to buy dolls and books.

Ly currently works as a manager of the Architecture Department at the National General Construction Consulting Joint Stock Company. She has won various prizes, including first prizes for designing Flora Fuji Living Quarters in 2015 and Bình Tân Living Quarters in 2017. She has received two prizes awarded by the HCM City Architects’ Association, including a bronze prize for Private House and Building Meeting Green Standards in 2017.

For Ly, a doll is a symbol, a cultural mark or simply a figure that she adores.

It is her passion for dolls that surpasses other interests and makes her spend a lot of time, money and energy in searching for material for her dolls.

“I have even spent a year pursuing a doll which was shipped from abroad,” she says.

Ly recalls that she once took a case full of dolls on a flight to Hà Nội for a business trip, while she only had a backpack of clothes. She also attended a meeting with members of a doll-collecting club.

She was stuck at security check for half an hour to explain why she had taken along so many dolls.

“To me, my collection of 500 dolls is priceless not only in terms of money but also energy and time,” Ly says, adding that collecting dolls for adults can be an expensive passion.

“I don’t think it’s luxurious though,” she says. “I like to let money serve me, not the other way round.”

Ly says she has no future plans for her huge collection but hopes to find a proper place to display them. Each doll should be observed independently, from various angles, to be able to see its beauty and creativity, she says.

Besides dolls, Ly is fond of books. “My parents inspired me to start reading at a young age,” she says.

She is willing to limit money and time but will never compromise on her passion.

She has joined a doll-collecting club on Facebook, whose members are doll collectors of all age groups and professions.

“Members post beautiful photos of dolls and new costumes. We meet once a month to talk about our dolls,” she says. – VNS

 

GLOSSARY

Working in any field requires sound physical and mental health, while passion is required to work and live to the fullest.

A field, in this case, is not a patch of land but an area of work or interest.

Physical means to do with the body.

Mental means to do with the mind.

Passion is the feeling of being so interested and dedicated to something that it does not matter how much time or money you spend on it.

HCM City-based architect Ngô Thị Hương Ly applies that philosophy to her life to balance work and play.

A philosophy is a way of looking at life and working out its meaning.

“When we follow a passion, our mind is well nurtured,” she told Việt Nam News.

Nurtured means looking after something while it is growing.

Her collection of 500 dolls can be divided into four categories: dolls wearing traditional costumes of Việt Nam and other countries; dolls of Disney characters; Barbie dolls of famous actors; and dolls produced by Integrity Toys, which are mostly fashionable dolls with costumes designed by famous brands.

Categories are sections.

She also has 12 male dolls with attractive masculine features that make a good pair with the female dolls.

Masculine means to do with being male.

“Collecting dolls requires skill as it involves minute details,” she says.

Minute means very small.

Besides knowledge and experience, being careful helps me design better-quality, convenient and safe buildings.”

Convenient means fitting in with people’s plans and routines.

Ly currently works as a manager of the Architecture Department at the National General Construction Consulting Joint Stock Company.

Currently means now.

It is her passion for dolls that surpasses other interests and makes her spend a lot of time, money and energy in searching for material for her dolls.

Surpasses means overtakes. In other words, dolls come first.

“I have even spent a year pursuing a doll which was shipped from abroad,” she says.

Pursuing means chasing.

Abroad means overseas.

“My parents inspired me to start reading at a young age,” she says.

To be inspired means to be made to feel you want to go out and do something positive.

She is willing to limit money and time but will never compromise on her passion.

To compromise means to give in so that somebody else can have some power.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. Ngô Thị Hương Ly loves to read.
  2. Ly’s dolls can be divided into seven categories.
  3. Ly designs buildings.
  4. Ly lives in HCM City.
  5. The doll-collecting club on Facebook that Ly has joined is only open to people between the ages of 23 and 63.

 

 

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. True; 2. False; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

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