War veteran gives great devotion to sculpture carving industry

By DA NANG Today
Published: September 10, 2018

War veteran Nguyen Viet Minh,76, from Hoa Hai Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang, has been awarded Certificates of Merit by the Prime Minister for his great devotion towards the development of the local sculpture arts.

Nguyen Viet Minh beside his already-carved stone sculptures
Nguyen Viet Minh beside his already-carved stone sculptures

Minh, the Chairman of the Non Nuoc Stone Carving Village, is highly applauded in the local handicraft industry for his energy, talent, profound humanitarian love, and deep compassion.

During Viet Nam’s resistance war against the American troops, Minh, who once served for Revolutionary Battalion No 1 under the former Quang Da Special Zone (code name R20), and his comrades together recorded many resounding victories.

During the fierce 1968 Spring Mau Than General Offensive and Uprising, Minh fell into enemy hands, and was then detained in the Phu Quoc Prison. He was released after 5 years, thanks to the Paris Peace Accords. He returned home, started from scratch, and earned a living at fine arts stone carving establishments.

Since the national re-unification in 1975, Minh worked as an accountant for the Non Nuoc stone carving handicraft cooperative, and create stone sculptures at home to earn more income.

With high qualifications and great determination, in 1986, Minh opened the over 600m2 namesake fine arts stone carving establishment on Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street in Hoa Hai Ward. Afterwards, following the municipal government’s instructions, Minh’s facility were moved to the Non Nuoc stone carving village in the same ward.

Minh’s establishment now has a total of around 50 permanent employees with a monthly salary of 6-12 million VND per person, and dozens of trainees who are taught on carving skills free of charge.

In particular, to date, Minh has trained over 300 trainees in total. Many of his trainees have become the owners of renowned stone carving establishments, including Nguyen Hung, Ton Bao, Nguyen Manh, and Nguyen Vy.

In the production process, Minh always make every effort to bring into full his creativity, professionalism, and sublimation in order to provide the best possible stone sculptures imbued with the Vietnamese cultural identity. 

Notable amongst his brainchildren are 10 Buddha statues placed at the Linh Ung Pagoda inside the Marble Mountains Tourism Area, the statues of the Eighteen Arhats at the Nguyen Thieu Monastery in central province of Binh Dinh.

In addition to their firm positions in the domestic market, Minh's products have been exported to the USA, France, the UK, Germany, Canada, South Korea, Laos and Thailand.

Given a skillful workmanship and high reputation, Minh received an order from a large company in Japan's capital of Tokyo to create a 7m-high, nearly 20-tonne statue. Sculptures weighing from 15-20 tonnes are now sold at over 1 billion VND each. 

In addition to his entrepreneurial success, Minh has also been actively involved in social activities. Every year, he enthusiastically paricipates in humanitarian activities and studying promotion programmes across the district.

More recently, the self-made man funded the construction of a charity house for a poor family, and donated a savings book worth 5 million VND to a Heroic Vietnamese Mother.

According to the Ngu Hanh Son District People's Committee, every year, Minh donates nearly 100 million VND for charitable activities benefiting the local needy, fully fulfils his tax obligation to the State.

In paticular, he won a gold medal at a recent fair held in Dong Nai Province, a second prize for typical rural industrial products displayed at the Exhibition of Rural Industrial Goods in the Central and Central Highlands Regions in 2008.

Especially, Minh has been awarded with the title of Meritorious Craftsman by the President, and honoured with Certificates of Merit from the Prime Minister on two occasions. He has been selected to attend an event honouring the elderly doing business well nationwide.

As the Chairman of the Non Nuoc stone carving village, Minh has always kept in his mind that his top priority is given to offering training courses in fine arts stone carving to younger generations.