Nguyen Hung, a ceramic artist in Hanoi, recently set Guinness world records for the largest ceramic sculpture of a mythical creature and the largest carved ceramic relief plate.
Guinness World Records on Tuesday awarded certificates for his works, ‘Phu Quy Man Duong’ and ‘Thiem Thu Thien Phong An.’
Weighing 400kg and measuring 137cm across, ‘Phu Quy Man Duong,’ the world’s largest carved ceramic plate, has carved images of cedar trees, peacocks, mountains, and the sun.
‘Phu Quy Man Duong’ has set a Guinness record as the world’s largest ceramic plate. Photo courtesy of Huong Viet Ceramic Company
Hung said it took him about 2,500 hours to make it in 2018, and the work represents wealth, nobility and happiness.
‘Thiem Thu Thien Phong An,’ a sculpture of a toad sitting on a pile of coins and gold bullion, is 173.5cm long, 110cm wide and 77.8cm tall.
The artist said it took him six and a half months to create the Thiem Thu toad, also known as the mythical three-legged toad (one hind leg) in East Asia, a feng shui symbol of money and prosperity. It took him six and a half months to create it.
Nguyen Hung stands next to ‘Thiem Thu Thien Phong An,’ the world’s largest ceramic sculpture of a mythical creature. Photo courtesy of Huong Viet Ceramic Company
Mai McMillan of the Guinness World Records organization said the two works have set records for size and technique.
She said to be eligible for the records works must be made of ceramic and have artistic elements. Measurements are taken by a qualified metrologist with certification in the presence of two independent witnesses.
The artist said he used a new type of yeast he had created himself to make ceramic sculptures.
He discovered that lotus stalks could replace rice husk to make the traditional ceramic glaze.
He used lotus stalk ashes mixed with sedimentary soil from the Red River Delta and ground minerals to create a new kind of enamel.
This enamel has a wider color range from brown to reddish-brown compared to the simple ivory white of ash enamel.
It also withstands higher temperatures of 1,230-1,300 degrees Celsius.
Hung said: “I still cannot believe I have achieved two world records. I have always worked hard at my job, constantly experimenting and exploring new directions to develop my father’s pottery profession. With my achievement, I hope to promote Vietnamese ceramics to more international audiences.”
Hung was born in 1971 in Hai Phong and has pursued the ceramic craft since he was a child.
He opened his own workshop in Hanoi’s Bat Trang pottery village, where he tries to improve techniques he inherited from previous generations.
Many of his works are on display at museums in Hanoi, Hue and other places.
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