Artist revolutionises Vietnamese glass painting

With his skill and creativity, Pham Hong Vinh has transformed delicate glass panels into timeless works of art. When it comes to glass painting in Viet Nam, one name that stands out is Pham Hong Vinh, also known as Vinh Coba, the renowned "golden hand" artist.
Vinh is credited with pioneering art glass paintings in the country. With his skill and creativity, the 63-year-old artist has transformed delicate glass panels into timeless works of art.
Vinh's glass paintings are used in interior and exterior decoration in private houses or places of worship, household appliances, and gifts. His creations are a fusion of glass engraving and painting techniques, drawing from global glass processing technologies.
Over more than three decades, Vinh has not only made original glass paintings but also restored and preserved deteriorated and broken stained glass artworks in numerous churches and pagodas across Viet Nam. His works hold significant cultural and spiritual value for the Vietnamese.
Vinh has brought his art to multiple 'glass canvas', adorning windows, partition walls, ceilings, floors, and even glass bridges.
Vinh’s aspiration is to portray images of architecture, figures, and the way of life through glass paintings, thereby contributing to the preservation of the Vietnamese national identity and fostering love for the homeland.
His paintings of Ha Noi, such as A Glimpse of Viet Nam, capture the city's beauty, while works like One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and Long Bien Bridge meticulously recreate these landmarks on glass panels.
Vinh's works also depict Ha Noi's inhabitants, with paintings such as A Woman in Long Dress by Hoan Kiem Lake, Strolling Blind Musician Couple and A Street Vendor. Through his realistic style, he portrays the national costume, lifestyle, and spiritual essence of ancient Ha Noi.
Additionally, Vinh has an extensive collection of glass sculptures featuring the city's iconic landmarks, including Turtle Tower, Sword Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge, and lotus flowers.
Creating a glass painting is a complex process, and those depicting ancient Ha Noi demand even more skill from the artist. Vinh follows a meticulous eight-step process, involving design, shaping, painting, and tempering the glass in a kiln. He adheres to strict rules to ensure vivid and realistic qualities in his works, such as the principles of perspective, light and shadow and focal points.
To ensure longevity and resistance to harsh environments, Vinh employs negative sculpting techniques, grinding methods, and specialised heat-absorbing paint materials that prevent fading, peeling and damage. Not only do Vinh's art pieces embody national identity, but they are also highly functional, serving as construction materials and being used in interior and exterior decor.
In recognition of his significant contributions to the glass painting industry, Vinh's company, COBA Art Glass JSC, received the prestigious Super Cup "Strong Brand and Sustainable Development" from the Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations.
Vinh himself was honoured with the "Golden Hand" Cup for his exceptional craftsmanship. Furthermore, his paintings have been certified as Viet Nam Records, and he has been personally bestowed the title "Meritorious Artist" by the State.
Recently, the Viet Nam Federation of UNESCO Associations acknowledged Vinh's contributions to the art glass craft, certifying his significant role in its formation and development, and his practical contributions to cultural development in line with UNESCO criteria.

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