A new illustrated version of a popular 1968 children’s poetry book, entitled Goc San Và Khoang Troi (The Yard Corner and Sky Interval), will be released in Hanoi on January 16.
The book by Tran Dang Khoa comprises about 60 poems, divided into five short volumes: Khi Me Vang Nha (When Mother Is Away from Home); Trang Sang San Nha Em (The Moon Shines on My House); Mang Bien Ve Que (Bringing the Sea to the Coutryside); Hat Gao Lang Ta (Rice Seed in Our Village) and Con Buom Vang (Yellow Butterfly).
The book was illustrated by five young artist teams, including Wazza Pink and NHO.A; Vuon Studio; Pham Quang Phuc; Killien Huynh and Phung Nguyen Quang and Nho Huy.
Wazza Pink and NHO.A won the Grand Prize of the Samsung Kids Time Award competition held early last year in Singapore; Killien Huynh and Phung Nguyen Quang took first prize at The Scholastic Picture Book Award - a joint initiative of the National Book Development Council of Singapore and Scholastic Asia.
"We encourage all the artists to express their feelings as they read the poems. It is necessary before they begin to illustrate them," said Nguyen Quang Vinh from the Huy Hoang Book House. "All the artists were born in the 1990s. We chose them because of their new and fresh feelings about popular poetry."
The artists’ perspective is also shaped by the fact that they did not experience rural life in times of war, which some of the poems describe.
"Sometimes we cannot imagine exactly what the poet describes," said artist Nanh from Vuon Studio team. "We have to draw daily life in the north, which we have never seen."
"It is very surprising for me. I’m very happy to see beautiful illustrations by young artists," said poet Khoa. "Each illustration is an independent artwork blowing a new breath into my poems. I don’t know whether their paintings illustrate my works or my poems illustrate the paintings".
"I like two illustrations for poems entitled Nua Dem Tinh Giac (Awakening at Midnight) and Trang Sang San Nha Em (Moon Shines over My Yard) the most. They are creative and vivid. The book is very beautiful with poems printed on the paintings," said the poet.
Poet Khoa is a phenomenon of Vietnam’s contemporary poetry. Born in 1958, he was known as a child prodigy. Goc San Và Khoang Troi is his first collection of poems and was printed when he was ten years old. Vietnamese people born in the 1960s and early 1970s learned his poems by heart.
This is not first illustration of the poems of Goc San Và Khoang Troi. In 2011, about ten poems were selected along with other poems by Khoa in a bilingual Vietnamese-French book was illusatrated by French artist Dominique De Miscault for publication in France.
The poet is currently working for Voice of Vietnam (VOV) as director of VOV Television. His books, such as Chan Dung Và Doi Thoai (Portrait and Dialogue) and Dao Chim (Submerged Island) have a following of different generations.
Khoa was awarded the State Prize in Literature and Arts in 2001.VNA