Life in Vietnam

Sunday, 05/03/2023 09:39

Vietnamese man creates vivid sculptures from tyres

Triệu collects 200 used tyres and makes the King Kong sculpture, which drew attention from the internet viewers. Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Thành Triệu

by Bảo Ngọc

Nguyễn Thành Triệu, a local of Bến Tre, uses waste tyres to create furniture and enormous sculptures that draw widespread praise.

The 34-year-old mechanic claims he has worked in a variety of jobs, including as a model for art students, making bas-reliefs and statues with plaster and cement.

As Triệu explains, he first got interested in tyres in 2018 when he visited a friend's home and found some used tyres from which he created a table set for himself.

Those who saw the artwork were so taken aback by its artistry that they placed orders for tables and chairs.

A set of table and chairs created by Triệu from used tyres. Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Thành Triệu

While Triệu made several sets of tables and chairs, he desired to make something really exceptional.

He discovered that many auto repair shops regularly dumped used tyres near where he lived. He went online in a quest for instructions on how to make tyre models.

A sculpture of King Kong was the first thing he worked on in late November 2022.

"To be honest, I was surprised by the way certain people valued my work. Now, I've sold more than a dozen complete sets after getting several orders," he said.

"I continue with my experiments on a large gorilla model from the classic King Kong film since I believe this material can be repurposed into numerous useful goods."

Triệu gathered 200 used tyres for VNĐ5,000 (20 US cents) apiece and built the King Kong sculpture. It stands 2.2 metres tall, 2.5 metres long, and weighs 300 kilos.

The gigantic King Kong sculpture made from used tyres. Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Thành Triệu

Triệu painted two soup spoons to look like eyes for his gorilla king, with the fur completely made from used motorcycle tyres, and a frame of iron and steel. 

"The cutting of the tyre is the most challenging part. Manually cutting old tyres might be a tedious process since there is no specific equipment for doing so. Yet, I am able to depict the fur of the animal in a way that cement or styrofoam cannot, thanks to the rubber tyre cuts ," he said.

Triệu finally finished the product after working on it for almost two months. In early February, he posted a video of his King Kong sculpture on social media, and immediately had someone make a deposit to buy it for VNĐ65 million.

He claims that the sculptures he has made from used tyres can resist adverse weather conditions and have a high level of durability, adding that they may be used as decorations at public squares or amusement parks.

The gifted mechanic says that he expects that more people will be motivated by his ideas in the future and that he will get greater support.

"I'm happy to have the ability to transform waste tyres into an aesthetically pleasing and high-value product. Hopefully, with the concept of utilising old tyres like this, many people will be able to create many more wonderful and significant things," he said. VNS

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