Thao was born in 1993 in Kon Tum and she has five members in her family. Unfortunately, four of the 5 family members, including her mother, her two younger brothers and Thao suffer from brittle bone disease. Thao’s father is the main breadwinner for the family. He is a farmer and also works as a labourer.
Thao’s disease has caused her to break her leg three times but she considers herself to be lucky as she is still able to stand on her own two feet. She has completed Year 12 unlike her siblings. Thao’s brothers are not as lucky as her as after they broke their legs for the 3rd time, they became wheelchair bound and had to stop their study at the end of year 9.
Thao has a dream of becoming an artist, however, her family situation does not allow her to pursue her passion at this stage. Being a big sister and trying her best to cope with the difficulties her family faces, Thao decided to go to classes to learn how to create Rice Art. She embarked on Rice Art classes in the hope that she could learn something that would create an income.
Thao has studied Rice Art for three years and is now very proficient with this new skill. She earns a modest income which helps her to support her father with the medical treatment for her mum and her younger brothers.
Rice Art is quite a unique hand made form of art from the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Lifestart Foundation is very proud to be collaborating and supporting the talented Rice Art artisans, including our featured artisan Thao.
Each hand made Rice Art piece is painstakingly made over many days, the images usually depict very typical and beautiful Vietnamese scenes and images.
The Rice Art making process –
- The best rice is chosen. It is then dried and roasted at a low heat for many hours to get the color just right. The longer you roast the rice the darker the color you will get.
- Good wood is chosen for the base and dried in the sun for a few days. The next step is to draw the picture onto the wood then coat the wood with a water proof coating.
- Place the rice on the wooden base piece by piece and then then dry the art in the sun for 2 days. Spray the painting with a special spray.
- Frame the painting and seal.
Rice Art will last from 15 to 20 years.
With your support the proceeds from the sales of the Rice Art products will help the artisans to become self sufficient. If you are looking for something truly unique as a memento from Vietnam, then please support talented artisans like Thao.