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September 20, 2021, 5:43 pm

Nguyen Hai Phong – king of bonsai

(11:01:46 AM 18/11/2013)
( - Nguyen Hai Phong has shot to fame as the nation’s most famous bonsai artist. Bonsai artisan Nguyen Hai Phong proudly stands next to his art.


Bonsai artisan Nguyen Hai Phong proudly stands next to his art.


In just three years he has engrossed himself in approaching, developing and practicing bonsai arts, winning 12 national golden medals and many other prizes for his artworks.


But as he explains, Phong came about this art form quite by chance three years ago on a visit to his grandfather’s garden in Di Linh District, Lam Dong Province.


Inspired by the bonsai trees in Lam Dong and attracted by this art genre which is very choosy of players, Phong came back home to HCMC and planned a journey around the country to rummage bonsai trees and related experts to learn more about the art.


Phong has spent all his time searching on the internet and books and collecting unsuccessful bonsai trees from others to make them perfect in his own style. “The important thing is those bonsai players need to be very patient as a bonsai tree needs at least ten years to be fulfilled as an artwork. For sure, a deep passion and a good financial condition are also required,” said Phong.


He often buys trees which are about 20-30 years old that others fail to conquer to correct them. “I think a bonsai player needs to take care of the trees not by basic techniques but also more by improving inspirations in their own styles. That is the way I tame trees with all love, emotions, knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, which are all natural,” said Phong.


His bonsai obsession has changed his life from a party boy who never saw sunlight as he spent all his time partying in bars and discos and slept all day to become a famous bonsai artisan.


Phong has joined many ornamental tree exhibitions nationwide such as Tao Dan Flower Festival, Dalat Flower Festival and Mekong Delta bonsai and ornamental exhibition and other festivals in northern and central regions. “As I am originally a photographer, I consider each bonsai tree like a photo that needs to have a good lay-out first and then I arrange it like helping a model pose,” said Phong.


In the Spring Flower Festival in HCMC in 2011, Phong won the golden prize for his work ‘Vuong Long’ which is 8.3 meters long, weighs 1.5 tons and took him five months to finish.


In 2012, Phong opened café ‘Vuong Long’ in his garden to display hundreds of bonsai trees which are worth dozens to hundreds of millions of dong. “I want to share my passion for bonsai enthusiasts and display bonsai trees for any genre lover with an aim to take the bonsai art in Vietnam further,” Phong shared.


Every Sunday, Phong holds classes to help spread his bonsai knowledge to enthusiasts and he also holds workshops. “To me, my bonsai involvement reminds me of living strongly and looking forward to living my life like my philosophy of bonsai,” he said.


Coming to his home, visitors will be amazed by his unique collection of rocks and old motorbikes.


Cafe Vuong Long is located on Road 12, Binh Tri Dong B Ward in HCMC’s Binh Tan District.

Source: SGT

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