Patriotic painting intrigues travellers and locals

by Tri Hung18 May 2017 Last updated at 19:00 PM - Local Hanoians and travellers alike are familiar with the painting of Late President Ho Chi Minh seen at the intersection of Trang Tien and Dinh Tien Hoang.

This patriotic-style painting is currently hanging on a wall in front of the Information Centre of Hanoi at 93 Dinh Tien Hoang. What's the story behind the picture and what message does it convey?

The painting depicts Ho Chi Minh smiling while holding a child with doves in the background. The doves resemble the letter S or the shape of Vietnam on a map. While the colours and composition in the painting are simple, it conveys a message of peace and unity for the Vietnamese people.

Tran Tu Thanh, Maker of the Picture said: The country was reunified in 1975 and 1976 with a referendum that formalised it. When that happened, the Vietnam Fine Arts Association ran a nation-wide contest. I did not want to miss out. With theme of reunification, I immediately thought of the image of Uncle Ho. The child in the picture represents the future, while the doves carry the message of peace.

Once the concept was formed, it took me another week to sketch it and find suitable colours to create the picture you see today.

The artwork won second prize at the National Fine Arts Exhibition in 1976 and was chosen by the Ministry of Culture and Information to appear in many national publications. A large-scale copy of the picture was printed and hung in the heart of the capital city. Overtime, the work has become a familiar sight and landmark for locals. It has also captured the attention of tourists as well.

Nguyen Ngoc Ho, Hanoian Citizen said: I live here. 40 years have gone by since I first saw the picture. Every time I see it, I feel something different. It gives me a sense of joy and pride.

Today, the picture is seen on the front wall of the information centre of Hanoi. Other copies are seen in the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the Lenin Museum in Moscow, La Habana in Cuba and in various publications about Ho Chi Minh. Many collectors have enquired about the price of the painting. However, the artist has refused to sell because of its significance in his life.


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