Vietnamese Artist Creates Stunning Wood Carving Sculptures

by Cristian I

We often talk about young people because of the waves they make through their rebellion. When someone who is 21 or under creates a positive impression on the world, the reaction is often a collective shrug.

Carving Wood Art

People like to focus on controversy instead of the individuals who try to make our planet a better place to live.

When you meet artist Duy Tran for the first time, you’ll find that the only trouble he creates is a misplaced chisel. This woodworker creates incredible sculptures by hand, with the sound of his tools scraping filling his workspace.

You can hear the chisels grinding, creating fresh pine sawdust that fills the air with a wonderful aroma.

When Duy gets an image that he wants to make, it stays in his head until he transforms a wood block into that creation.

The variety you can find in his work makes it seem like nothing is impossible even without a Studley Toolbox.

Duy Dropped Out of Art School to Pursue His Passion

Like many young artists of today, Duy started pursuing his love of art by attending university classes.

He enrolled in the College of Arts at Hue University in Vietnam. Although the skills and knowledge he picked up there were helpful, Duy discovered that sitting in class was not the same as being a creator.

Duy decided to follow his passion for woodworking by dropping out of art school. His brothers and uncles worked as carvers in his home village, so he returned home to start learning more tricks of the trade.

Although Duy recognizes that attending school is often essential, dropping out seemed to be the correct decision at the time. “It saved me a lot of time,” he says. “I’ve had the time to learn new skills, like a sculpture, and also have time to do my favorite things, such as traveling in a foreign country.”

It only took Duy three years to complete his apprenticeship program in woodworking. His deft skills quickly earned him the reputation of being an artisan. Since Buddha pieces often sell well, that was the primary focus of his work.

It was profitable and eventually led him to try something different.

That’s when he created Goku for the first time, a fictional character from the Dragon Ball manga series. Although the original was small, the love that Duy experienced while making that piece by hand let him know that he’d stumbled across his calling in life.

The Artist Searched the Internet to Find the Best Image

Duy says he spent considerable time searching online to find the best image to use for his Goku sculpture. After printing the photograph, he transferred it to the block to start the sculpting process. His friends were impressed, especially since it was his first creation that wasn’t a Buddha statue.

That success led the artist to consider pursuing other figures to expand his portfolio. Now his goal is to introduce the concepts of Vietnamese woodcarving to the rest of the world.

Unlike other woodcarvers, Duy Tran uses a relatively straightforward process to create his sculptures. It all starts by selecting the right block to serve as the inspiration for his piece.

Once he has the materials, the artist prints a picture that attaches to the piece. He cuts the block to size using a circular saw. That’s when the other tools start to create more sawdust, ranging from electric chisels to hand saws, producing the most delicate details.

On Duy’s Instagram feed, you can find numerous figures representing manga scenes, iconic moments in movies, and historical figures. One of his most popular recent pieces involves the fight scene between Godzilla and King Kong.

He started by creating tiny pieces that would represent a standard bookshelf statue. He is now producing items on a massive scale, including a dragon that he worked to carve using a chainsaw.

Most of his sculptures come from one piece of wood. Although he has focused on game characters and the Marvel Universe in recent works, Duy has remained true to his manga roots. His online store features scenes from Naruto, Attack on Titan, and Dragonball Z. He recently started working on a T-Rex Transformer that he expects to retail for around $1,290.

Duy Tran used the success of his art to create Woodart Vietnam with the help of his father, one of the country’s greatest woodworking masters. You can find traditional portraits getting started in the atelier, modern art, and everything in between.

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