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An Embroiderer and Ho Chi Minh

by Ngo Bich Tuan

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Artisan Thai Van Bon was born in 1933 in Quat Dong Commune. Thuong Tin District, Ha Tay Province, the cradle of traditional embroidery. Fired with zeal for his ancestors’ craft, Mr. Bon applied himself to master the skill. His gifted hands have created striking embroideries depicting people, trees and flowers.

His greatest success is an embroidery of Uncle Ho, already a long-explored subject.

Nearly one billion stitches create Mr. Bon’s vast image (2 x 1.6 meters) embroidered on silk. Mr. Bon and twenty other artisans finished the work in sixty days. Their portrait of Uncle Ho seems aglow with life, from the leader’s gray beard to his bright eyes to his gentle smile.

In 1985, the Government of Viet Nam bestowed on Mr. Bon the title “Artisan of Embroidery.” In 1989, he won the gold medal at the National Economic and Technological Fair with his picture, Village Market, a stunning work. In 1966, he received the honorable name, “Golden Hands.”

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