|Unmatched: A visitor contemplates a portrait of General Vo Nguyen Giap created from 60,000 matches by Ngo Thi Thuc. — Photo courtesy the Heritage Club House
HA NOI (VNS) — Like many Vietnamese people, Ngo Thi Thuc feels great admiration for General Vo Nguyen Giap (1911-2013), who served as commander-in-chief of the Viet Nam People's Army in two wars against the French and the Americans and led the Dien Bien Phu campaign in 1954, contributing to the country's liberation.
However, Thuc may be the only one who spent three months joining 60,000 matches to create a portrait of the general.
The portrait is displayed alongside other images at Vietnamese Renowned Generals through Art Works, an exhibition that opened yesterday in Ha Noi.
After the general's funeral last year, Thuc, 50, wanted to honour him through art.
"I collected many matches, selected the best ones which had equal size and beautiful colours and arranged them into a portrait of the general with his familiar victorious smile," she said.
"I use matches to symbolically burn the flame of patriotism and I hope that the flame will be transferred to young people."
She also used more than 100,000 matches to create a portrait of General Nguyen Chi Thanh (1914-67), who made great contributions to the cause of building the people's armed force.
Organised by the Viet Nam Military History Museum, Vietnamese Association of Historical Science and Heritage Club House, the exhibition honours outstanding Vietnamese generals from various historical periods through sculptures, lacquer, oil on canvas, watercolour and applied fine arts. Numerous images will be shown in public for the first time, giving visitors the chance to view the works of famous painters such as Ha Huy Le, Nguyen Doan Son, Tran Tuan Long and Phan Ke An.
Son's Revolution Road depicts the life and career of General Giap. The 6m-long painting is part of the 16m-long Truong Ca (Epic), which depicts several periods of Vietnamese history.
The exhibition marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Viet Nam People's Army in 1944. It will run until January 5 at the Exhibition Hall, 45 Trang Tien Street, Ha Noi.
During the event, visitors will have a chance to talk with artists, historians and senior army officials. — VNS