City HCM (VNS / VNA) – When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Ho Chi Minh City since the end of April, witnessing the silent sacrifice and devotion of
frontline health workers, Tran Thi Thanh Thuong found his own way to honor and celebrate these “soldiers in white coats”.
Thuong created small figurines of healthcare workers and other frontline forces from kami paper – a kind of thin paper specially designed for Japanese origami.
Images of soldiers, despite the overwhelming heat, delivering basic necessities to local residents, or rain-drenched volunteers standing guard at COVID-19 checkpoints, inspired Thuong to make the figures.
“Artist of the poor,” actor Quyen Linh, who carried heavy sacks of rice to distribute to the poor and workers during the pandemic, also became a model for Thuong’s paper dolls.
Dolls from other famous artists such as Viet Huong and Hoai Phuong, who participated in charitable activities during the fight against the coronavirus, were depicted in paper.
“In addition to expressing my admiration and gratitude to the frontline forces, the miniatures are memories of a difficult but unforgettable time,” she said.
The 39-year-old said although she has not joined the fight against the pandemic in person, creating the kami paper dolls, she wants to encourage these dedicated volunteers and healthcare workers.
According to Thuong, in 2017, she received a kami paper doll and became curious about how to make one herself.
She then discovered the Japanese art of origami paper folding while studying online.
As art is still relatively unknown in Vietnam, she could not find the right paper and had to order it abroad, mainly in Japan and Taiwan. It took him several days to get the right equipment for his first kami creations.
At first, Thuong followed the basic steps online. Day after day, week after week, she finally found her own “tips” to perfect her paper creations.
“At first, I chose the model I wanted to make. I had to study every detail and then figure out how the details should be folded, ”Thuong said. The paper artist is now considered a pioneer of the art of kami paper folding in Vietnam.
The next step is to decide on the color and then roll and fold the paper. The last step is to connect all the details with glue and give it some finishing touches.
“Unlike other types of folding papers, kami has wavy lines on its surface and a smooth texture which holds creases very well and is very easy to create patterns, so kami creations can be used as beautiful keepsakes, ”she said.
Thuong spends about 3 to 4 hours to produce a simple kami figure. For the more complicated, it takes 2-3 days.
In 2018, she created the Facebook page Do Choi Giay Kami (Kami Paper Toys) where she published 300 hand-carved paper creations. She also decided to quit her white collar job to devote herself to kami art.
In December 2018, when the Vietnam national soccer team faced Malaysia in the AFF Cup tournament, Thuong designed a team collection, including 24 footballers and coach Park Hang-seo.
Big fan of the national team, with the help of her husband, Thuong did not sleep to be able to complete the collection in 24 hours.
“It really is a wonderful memory,” she said.
Thuong also held online workshops on folding kami paper. She hopes to promote this art form in Vietnam, especially among young people./.