Vietnamese sand art

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Adam Robert Young

When I heard I was to do photos for a story on Vietnamese sand artists, I had no idea whatsoever what sand art actually was. I had seen artists who did realtime art using sand on a backlit panel – a constantly changing work that was skillfully manipulated by the artist to morph from one picture to another (check out the second video on this post on Hello Saigon! ), but I had the feeling that this would be something different.

And as I discovered on arriving at the tiny studio in a narrow back alley in Ho Chi Minh City, I was right.

Sand artists 5

Turns out sand art, which is a discipline mastered by relatively few here in Vietnam, is the art of creating painting-like images in glass containers. These works are generally two-sided, but can also be created in round vessels so that the image loops around as you…

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