October 12, 2023
HANOI – HÀ NỘI A portrait of Vietnamese General Võ Nguyên Giáp (1911-2013) made entirely from eggshells by artist Nguyễn Quốc Vượng has been recognised by the Vietnam Record Association as the biggest of its kind in the country.
Entitled Vị Tướng Vì Hòa Bình (General of Peace), the image was created by the Quảng Bình-based artist in two years. Made with about 1,000 eggshells, it measures 1.4 metres in height and 1.75 metres in width. It was finished on the 112th anniversary of the General’s birth (August 25, 1911 – August 25, 2023).
The artwork depicts General Giáp with a tightly clenched fist, symbolising determination and victory. His portrayed is on the background of the national flag and doves as a symbol of peace.
Vượng said the piece is a tribute from him to the General Giáp, a beloved figure from his homeland Quảng Bình, also a national hero and a brilliant military strategist of the world.
“To create General of Peace, I had to read many books and articles about General Giáp,” Vượng said.
“Portraits are much more challenging than landscape or animal-themed paintings as they must resemble the subject and capture their essence. In particular, a successful portrait of General Giáp must convey his aura, character and stature.”
The 44-year-old artist graduated from the University of Arts, Huế University. He is currently working at Quảng Bình Provincial Children’s Cultural Centre.
He has been experimenting and creating artworks using eggshells as the main medium since 2016. His first eggshell artwork, titled Sông Ngầm (Underground River), made its official debut at the North Central Regional Fine Arts Exhibition in 2020.
He says each type of eggshell has a different colour like white, light yellow, brown or grey. Before being used, they will be cleaned, processed and dried completely.
Vượng usually preserves the original colours of the eggshells without dyeing them. For darker shades, he uses roasted eggshells, which also requires a considerable amount of time and meticulousness to create.
He said: “For a piece made from eggshells, the artist must put in five to ten times more effort and dedication compared to a regular painting. Each step in the creative process demands perseverance and meticulousness. In short, completing an eggshell artwork takes a significant amount of time and energy. It cannot be rushed.”
Artist Nguyễn Lương Sáng, Deputy Chairman of the Fine Arts Association, Quảng Bình Literature and Art Association, highly appreciates Vượng’s artistic creativity.
“In recent years, Vượng has successfully integrated eggshells into oil paintings,” Sáng said.
“The material has many advantages such as creating various shades and an intriguing surface texture, which adds a unique element to his artworks.
“Through this innovative approach, the artist aims to convey new expressions. Many of his pieces showcased in exhibitions have received high praise and recognition from art experts.