Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Illustrations by famous contemporary painters have given a totally different look to two classics in Vietnamese literature.
The Đông A Book Company has republished Kiều’s Tale by Nguyễn Du (1766–1820) and Lục Vân Tiên’s Tale by Nguyễn Đình Chiểu (1822 – 1888) with new paintings being used to illustrate the epics.
The new paintings were put on display and later auctioned in Hà Nội for a total of VNĐ410 million (US$20,000).
The illustration Đoàn Viên (Reunion) by Thành Chương fetched the highest price at VNĐ65 million ($3,000).
Kiều’s Tale is considered the most famous work in Vietnamese literature. The story about the travails in the life of the beautiful and talented Thúy Kiều has been translated into many languages.
The story of Lục Vân Tiên is a work where the talent, intelligence and dignity of the main protagonists, Tiên and Kiều Nguyệt Nga are met with hostility from society at large.
Acting on a suggestion from the Đông A Company, nationally renowned painter Thành Chương gathered several peers to join the project.
“Illustrating a masterpiece is a challenge as well as an exciting experience that the artists, whose passion adds colour to the literature, have never had before,” Chương said.
“With illustrations created by contemporary artists, we want to bring the works closer to modern readers,” he said.
“To preserve our heritage and old values, we can’t just protect the original works, we should also renew them, making them suitable to present life.”
Chương said the illustrations were very different from those in previous publications. Works were chosen from 15 artists nationwide, capturing the diversity of Vietnamese contemporary fine arts.
Veteran artists like Phan Cẩm Thượng, Hà Trí Hiếu, Nguyễn Quân and Nguyễn Công Hoan have contributed their illustrations to the book.
The classics are available at bookshops nationwide for VNĐ250,000 ($12). — VNS