Artisan Nguyen Hung and Two New Guinness Records for Ceramic Works

Artisan Nguyen Hung and Two New Guinness Records for Ceramic Works

The Story of “Phu Quy Man Duong” 

Hung said that the work “Phu Quy Man Duong” is large in size and volume with elaborate relief details, which is a challenge for the artist because it required making careful calculations before making.

“Phu Quy Man Duong” weighed nearly 600kg before and took 45-hours to heat and 48-hours to dry.


After finishing the piece weighed 400kg with a diameter of 1.37m. The theme of the piece is one of the favorite decorations in Asian art. It has embossed and carved cedar trees and peacocks, along with other feng shui elements that carry a sense of harmony, wealth, eternity, nobility, and eternal happiness.

To show the beauty of the double peacock and the Lao Tung tree patterns, Hung had to continuously emboss the details on the surface of the plate to ensure the quality of the work. After the piece was completed, there is a golden grain effect on the surface.

The plate is completely embossed by hand, so it was not possible to use machines to move it into the kiln. When the process of heating was completed, the process of taking it out of the furnace had to be done very carefully to ensure that the temperature was right. The surface of the plate is very thick, so only an experienced artisan knows the right time to bring it out to dry. 

The unique variable enamel color, Hoa bien, is one of the special features of the plate. Products with this kind of color are sought after by ceramic enthusiasts. 

Hung took about 2.500 hours (about 1.5 years) to complete the plate in 2018, after 5 failures.

The Story of “Thiem Thu Thien Phong An”

The second Guinness World Record for artist Nguyen Hung is "Them Thu Thien Phong An", a sculpture of a toad sitting on a pile of coins and gold bullion. It weighs 1,500kg, is 1,735m long, 1.1m wide and 0.778m high. 


Thiem Thu, also known as the mythical three-legged toad (one hind leg) in East Asia, is a feng shui symbol of money and prosperity. 

It took Hung six and a half months to create it after four failures. 

"Thiem Thu Thien Phong An" is famous for its unique Hoang Tho Lien Hoa enamel. 

Hoang Tho Lien Hoa enamel was discovered in 2002. Hung used lotus stalk ashes mixed with sedimentary soil from the Red River Delta and ground minerals to create the Hoang Tho Lien Hoa enamel.  

The name Hoang Tho Lien Hoa refers to the Red River and lotus elements in the enamel. 

 “Hoang Tho Lien Hoa enamel is a type that differs from traditional ash enamel. This type of glaze gives a wider range of colors to help the artist master the color on the ceramic,” Hung said.

Artist Nguyen Hung was born in Hai Phong. In the 1980s, while working for a company specializing in ceramics in Hai Phong, Hung had the opportunity to learn about ceramics done in all the craft villages across the country. Hung fell in love with the art and decided to build his career in Bat Trang pottery village.

Artist Nguyen Hung and his Guinness World Record sculpture "Them Thu Thien Phong An", which is a sculpture of a toad sitting on a pile of coins and gold bullion. Photo: Nguyen Hung

 Story: Thao Vy/VNP -  Photos: Files - Translated by Hong Hanh