21/04/2017 12:51 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Painter of Hand-colouring Posters

Due to the current fast development of the printing industry, which ensures a quick turnaround time, the tradition of painting advertisement posters by hand has faded. With more than 30 years of painting advertisement posters, Nguyen The Minh, pen-named Hoai Minh Phuong, who is now living on An Duong Vuong street, Tan Binh district in Ho Chi Minh City is one of very few painters producing their posters by hand.
Phuong recalled that when he was still a secondary school boy and crossed Phan Dinh Phung street, he used to see a painter, Hoa Hue, sitting and painting. He was very much interested in the talented painter’s work. The painter, recognising the boy’s passion for painting, agreed to take him on as his student. Later, Phuong was taught more by painter Vu Trong Hop, which helped Phuong become a painter.

Dozens of years ago, Phuong said, when techniques and technology were not yet developed customers commissioned him to draw on boards the addresses and advertisements of products for their shops, or logos of their companies. Carrying a painting kit, Phuong walked through all corners of the city, its districts and suburban areas, despite the harsh weather.


Nguyen The Minh, pen-named Hoai Minh Phuong, who is now living on An Duong Vuong street, Tan Binh district
in Ho Chi Minh City is one of very few painters producing their posters by hand.
Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP


Phuong’s second son, who will take over his business, takes Phuong to work by motor bike. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP


Phuong’s paints. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP






Painting an advertisement banner for a mechanic’s shop. Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP
 

In recent years, people have preferred electronic sign boards to painted ones, so Phuong’s job has become less needed. However, the old painter has tried to maintain his work, although his current customers are only those who have admired the talented painter’s skill, which is plain, yet full of artistic value. Those customers asked Phuong to make unique sign boards for their shops, which would be quite different from those made with high-tech means. In addition, they also show their admiration of the talented old painter, who is friendly and kind. While working, Phuong used to recite poems or tell stories relating to ethics to his customers, which are especially useful for the young ones.

Apart from painting, Phuong also loves poems, something he has been interested in since his childhood. Upon a customer’s request, he loved to paint some lines of poems he composed.


Some finished works by Phuong













Anti-rust paint helps protect the board for a longer time, some lasting seven years.Photo: Nguyen Luan/VNP

Before finishing a product, Phuong often covers it with an anti-rust paint, which helps protect the board for a longer time, some lasting seven years. After doing that, if the colour on the board’s surface is fading, he can wash it, then paint it with a new cover.

Of his three sons, only the second, Nguyen The Quang, has followed his career to paint sign boards and advertisement posters by hand.

Story: Son Nghia - Photos: Nguyen Luan