Before we hit the Cu Chi tunnels, our conducted tour guide stopped on the way at Lamphat Company, which makes and sells lacquer paintings. All the artist which are employed there are handicapped and war victims. Since they are unable to be employed in regular office jobs, they have been trained in this art form and rehabilitated.
Lacquer painting is an ancient art form of Vietnam and is part of their heritage. The lacquer is made from a resin obtained from trees native to Vietnam. Each piece of a painting undergoes a complex process of creation, from wood preparation, drawing, lining, polishing, varnishing, inlaying of mother of pearls or egg shells etc. The finished paintings then have a brilliant shine on them.
This process is better explained in the picture below.
It was a real treat to see these handicapped artists work with such precision and dedication producing such masterpieces.
In the end we did not buy, as we thought the prices were too touristy. Hopefully in our next visit we will try and pick up a piece.