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Bao Pham's artistic inspiration in his hometown

Released at: 10:02, 07/09/2019 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Bao Pham's artistic inspiration in his hometown

Bao Pham at work (Photo source from Gia Bao company)

Young HCMC artist's journey has taken him from drawing for fun to creating an art exhibition.

by Khanh Chi

One time when he returned to Vietnam from the US for a summer vacation, the young Bao Pham, born in 2002, happened to meet a lonely old woman and decided to create a painting exhibition to try and make a difference.

He spent most of his time taking photos, painting, and managing artworks to create the “New Day of Saigon” art exhibition, where several paintings were sold and meaningful gifts presented to lonely elderly women.

In addition to new paintings sold for charitable purposes, “New Day of Saigon” also introduced old paintings owned by Bao’s family. This allowed viewers to look back on his journey, from drawing for fun to drawing for a purpose.

Bao Pham was sharing with visitors at his exhibition (Source: Gia Bao company)

Bao has had a taste for painting since kindergarten, but his family didn’t put any pressure on him to pursue the endeavor. Many years he paints a lot while in others he does little. Some years he becomes engrossed in practicing the piano, taking photos, reading books, and exploring, while letting his artwork fall away.

“But it’s strange that every time I have a special feeling the first thing that comes to mind is drawing,” he said. “Like when I returned to Ho Chi Minh City, camera in hand, and photographed every interesting thing I saw, but when I met the lonely old woman sitting on the sidewalk I wanted to paint more so than take photos. I was afraid I might be bothering her, so I secretly took some photos before approaching her to talk, and then went home to outline her portrait.”

“A few years ago, when I said goodbye to my family to go to the US for studies, the whole family took some photos together, but I wanted to paint my own portrait for my parents. In America, too, whenever I was happy or sad, I drew, and it was often unfinished because the emotions passed. A complete artwork happens when emotions are true and fresh.”

When he was in Vietnam, Bao had a private drawing teacher for about ten years, but they were more like friends, so when they met they would chat and then get out the pencils, watercolors, oil paints, and acrylic. They then started using computer software.

In recent times he likes to combine photography with editing software before drawing, so the effect is greatly increased.

Bao said that whatever technique he uses, it is most difficult and most important to capture ideas. When walking past a market, seeing so many beautiful things, choosing what to draw can be quite difficult. After choosing what to draw, though, everything else is put away and nothing is difficult.

I asked if he has plans to become an artist. “I want to become a designer of household appliances rather than a painter,” he replied. “I like to design gadgets for children, students, the elderly, and the disabled. In the US, I work as a volunteer for a new camera design group, which can be used by students to listen to lectures and helps increase concentration and review anything that might have been missed. The camera is expected to integrate more ways of thinking for students to analyze, study, and do exercises.”

Bao Pham's pictures on show (Source: Gia Bao company)

After four years living in Boston, Bao said he is planning to apply to one of the design schools in the city, such as Northeastern University, Boston College, or Boston University, for next year. If he’s not successful, he will try other schools such as Carnegie Mellon University, Syracuse University, Drexel University, Rutgers University, or Virginia Politechnic Institute. Looking at the list of prestigious design schools that the 11th grade student has chosen is enough to see his determination and vision.

“I like Boston, because it was where I found my passion,” he went on. “If I get into Northeastern University then my dream will have come true, I would be able to study in the place I want and stay in the city for at least six or seven more years, to finish my Masters in design.”

So does he plan to return to Ho Chi Minh City after his studies? “Yes, but only after at least ten years,” he said. “I want to apply for a job in a prestigious design company in the US to gain experience, then return to Vietnam to work for an American company. When I’m fully qualified and have the money, I will open my own company and build my dream in my hometown. I will design household appliances that are friendly for children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.”

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