Several veteran artists have captured the soldiers in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in lifelike portraits with all their heart during a recent trip there.
A delegation of 132 members from the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee paid an 11-day visit to islands and maritime platforms in the Truong Sa archipelago earlier this month.
Truong Sa is administered by the south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa.
Among the delegates were 17 artists from the Vietnam Fine Arts Association and Vietnam University of Fine Arts.
The artists and other delegates spent most of their time mingling with the young soldiers, depicting them in portraits and taking photos of the spectacular seas and islands.
A soldier receives a portrait from an artist on Truong Sa Dong Island in the Truong Sa archipelago. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Artist Tran Luan Tin, a veteran himself, said that the portraiture brought back his wartime memories.
He fought in a battle during the American war in Vietnam in 1972 in Quang Tri and joined the troops who advanced toward Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City now) right on April 30, 1975.
The country was reunified on that historic date.
He grabbed every opportunity to portray the soldiers, who impressed him most with their weather-beaten faces, and the profound changes they have undergone from carefree youngsters to sensible, sovereignty-aware soldiers.
Despite rough seas, Tin keenly jumped at every chance to set foot on the islands during the trip.
Artists sketch the portrait of a soldier on Truong Sa Dong Island in the Truong Sa archipelago. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Artist Chu Anh Phuong, a lecturer at the Vietnam University of Fine Arts, created 15 sketches of the soldiers stationed on such islands as Truong Sa Lon, Da Dong A, Truong Sa Dong, Thuyen Chai, and Nui Le.
Do Van Vinh, a 20-year-old soldier, was deeply moved at his first-ever portrait in his uniform.
“We are all adamant on our mission of safeguarding our country’s sovereignty over Truong Sa, not only for ourselves but also for some 90 million Vietnamese people,” he said.