Vietnam Art Books -- Piracy hits award-winning poster (March 09, 2005)

Piracy hits award-winning poster (March 09, 2005)

VietNamNet – The media is in uproar over a case of piracy as prize-winning painting is found to be taken from a famous photo.

In 1999, photographer Tran The Long won many domestic and international prizes for his photos, among them, “The kiss of wind”.

The photo shows a girl, face upturned in optimism, with a yellow scarf.

Then, in 2005, organisers of the propaganda painting contest to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Vietnam Communist Party presented the first prize for a painting named “The Party is my life” by Nguyen Trung Kien, a student from the Hanoi Open University Institute.

Problem is, the painting is exactly like “The kiss of wind”. Only the colour of the girl’s scarf and the addition of a hammer and sickle distinguish the painting from the photo.

The Long has in turn asked some newspapers to investigate the case, asking how such an obvious case of piracy can occur for a painting that wins a national competition judged by artists from the Vietnam Arts Association under and the Ministry of Culture and Information?

The Ministry had once even awarded Mr Long a certificate for the quality of his photo at the first national photo exhibition 1996-2000 as well as the prize for outstanding photo in 1999.

Nguyen Trung Kien, in an interview with VietNamNet, said that he saw “The kiss of wind” late last year and simply wanted to reproduce the beauty of the photo in painting, to praise the Party and the country, adding he was saddened by the charge of piracy.

“I don’t know much about copyright. I also want to meet (Mr Long) to say several words but I don’t know where does he live,” he said.

“I still see many propaganda paintings using photos of other authors so I don’t think much about copyright and now the consequence is serious. That is a valuable experience for me,” he added.

Of the Board of Examiners’ mistake, Le Duc Canh of the Grassroots Culture and Information Agency said that the board only includes managers and painting experts who could not have know about the photo.

“It is difficult for examiners to remember all works that have won prizes or exhibited,” he said.

Reprinted from VietNamNet

Award winning forgery has prize revoked

VietNamNet – The Grassroots Culture and Information Agency under the Ministry of Culture and Information has decided to withdraw the award granted to Nguyen Trung Kien’s painting.

The meeting that also involved the Copyright Agency, the Art and Photography Department, the Vietnam Fine Arts Association, the Vietnam Photographers’ Association, inspectors of the Culture and Information Ministry, and the examiner board of the painting contest to celebrate the 70th birthday of the Vietnam Communist Party came to a conclusion that Kien’s “The Party is my life” is nothing but a forgery of the work “The Kiss of Wind”.

“The organising board will revoke the prize of Nguyen Trung Kien,” said Do Kim Thinh, Deputy Director of the Grassroots Culture and Information Agency.

After the meeting, Kien sent a letter to relevant bodies to apologise to artist Tran The Long and voluntarily return the prize.

Reprinted from VietNamNet


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