Artist Do Lenh Tuan makes inspiring pictures out of postal stamps

Saturday, January 14, 2017 - 14:00:00

(VOVworld) - It’s difficult to design postal stamps. It’s even more difficult to make a picture from stamps. But, by assembling hundreds or even thousands of stamps, artist Do Lenh Tuan creates spectacular works of art which at first glance you would think were painted.

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Painter Do Lenh Tuan is one of few successful artists in making stamp pictures.

Born in 1955 in Hanoi, Do Lenh Tuan has been involved in stamp design for 30 years, 28 of which he was working for the Stamp Company, part of the Vietnam Post Corporation.

In addition to designing hundreds of stamps, Tuan has assembled numerous stamp-collage pictures which, he admits, are a challenge to the artist’s patience. If everything goes smoothly, it takes about a week to complete a stamp-collage picture. But you can easily spend a whole month, he says.

“You can say you have successfully completed a stamp picture if you have used the fewest possible stamps. Even a success, though, will take hundreds or even thousands of stamps. It’s a difficult job.”

Tuan is most famous for his portraits of President Ho Chi Minh, but he has created more than 500 stamp pictures of various subjects. He says it’s not so difficult to make stamp pictures of landscapes but stamp-collage portraits are a real challenge.

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One of artist Do Lenh Tuan’s stamp pictures of President Ho Chi Minh.

“Any art form can be difficult. The biggest difficulty in assembling stamps to form a portrait of President Ho Chi Minh is making his eyes bright. Although I never met Uncle Ho, anybody who sees my stamp portrait of President Ho Chi Minh will feel as if they’re seeing him in person,” elaborates Tuan.

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A stamp portrait of General Vo Nguyen Giap.

Painter Nguyen Du talked to us about his colleague’s pictures: “A stamp picture requires a high degree of competence from the artist. For example, the character of a portrait subject lives not just in the pupils of their eyes, but also in the shape of the eyes, and the glint. The artist must capture this character and convey it in his picture. That’s what gives a stamp picture soul.”

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