Art created with sculpture and light

With his love of art, Bui Van Tu, a construction engineer, has created an original form of art which combines sculpture and light.
Bui Van Tu first thought of creating sculptures using light when he was a student moonlighting on a job of setting up and decorating rock gardens. Tu found that the shadows of rocks shaped interesting images.

It took Tu four months to finish his first work of art, “Mother”, a cement sculpture of a bird feeding her young which turns into an image of a mother holding her baby in her arms when light is projected onto the sculpture. Tu said he had to do the work over and over again because the shape of the artwork was quite different from the real sculpture forming it.

In 2014, Tu impressed the audience at the Vietnam’s Got Talent TV show with his sculpture and light portraying President Ho Chi Minh.

Bui Van Tu has created a new form of art.

Tu’s art combines sculpture and light to create original works.

At the first stage of creating a piece of art.

It takes several months to finish a work.

A sculpture must have vivid details and carry a meaningful message,
while at the same time must show another image when lit.

Wood and ceramics are the main materials of Tu’s art.

A moment of neglect may cost a whole block of wood.

The art requires visual ability and good imagination from the artist.
After graduating from the Construction University in 2014, Tu decided to pursue his passion of making sculptures from light for interior decoration.

According to Tu, to create a sculpture from light, it is crucial to figure out clearly the shape of the work. It is also important to accurately calculate the structure and size of the real sculpture to ensure that its shadow will not be deformed.

Tu’s pieces are mostly created from wood and ceramics, the materials which require special care from the artist. A moment of neglect might cost a whole block of wood. It is even more difficult to shape a sculpture with clay because a sculpture often changes its shape after the clay is fired at a temperature of 1,250oC. It usually takes one month to make a sculpture with ceramics and another month to dry it before firing it.

Tu, who is now the creative director of Exhibition Center 1102, has so far created 15 pieces of art from wood and ceramics. Every piece of art created by Tu has a title and a message conveying the meaning of the work. It takes Tu from two to four months to finish apiece, which can sell for between 30 million and 80 million dong (roughly 1,300-3,500 US dollars).

Portrait of President Ho Chi Minh, Tu’s favorite sculpture made from driftwood.

Another piece showing the image of President Ho Chi Minh.

General Vo Nguyen Giap

A spiritual piece of art.
Story: Ngan Ha - Photos: Khanh Long

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