Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thi Kim Duc presented “Cover of Future”– a painting featuring the devastating result of climate change, to world leaders at the Vesak celebrations.
World leading scientists are warning that there are only a dozen years before millions of people experience the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty due to climate change. This warning was also announced loud and clear to world leaders, Buddhist leaders, and Buddhists around the world at the United Nation’s 2019 Vesak Festival held in Vietnam through one single painting.
Called the “Cover of Future”, Vietnamese artist Nguyen Thi Kim Duc used traditional Vietnamese silk, Van Gogh inspired water colors, soft but bold strokes, together with deep and lifeless colours to paint a dying tree which is partly submerged in sea water. This painting shows a stark picture of what the world would become if humans continue to ignore climate change. It would turn into a world without green trees, animals and humans.
Using a simple painting style, Mrs. Nguyen wanted the artwork to pass from “heart to heart”, relaying her love for the environment, like in Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu's words: "People rely on land, land relies on God, God relies on religion, religion replies on nature”.
This while holding a belief that humans are the main cause of climate change, Mrs. Nguyen said that even if millions of new trees are planted to absorb the main driver of climate change, carbon dioxide, the environment will still be destroyed unless people change their wasteful and polluting habits.
105 copies of this painting were given as a gift for the heads of state and leaders of Buddhism from over 100 countries who attended attend the Vesak celebrations last month. They include Buddhist leaders such as Professor, Dr. Phra Brahmapundit - Chairman of the International Council for the Day of Vesak (ICDV), Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung - Minister of Information and Communication of Vietnam, Ryan Giggs – Coach of the Welsh National Football Team, the Prime Minister of Nepal, the President of Bhutan’s Senate, and Sang Ji Zha Xi - Deputy Secretary General of the Chinese Buddhist Church. They were all very sympathetic and touched upon receiving the painting.
“Through the “Cover of Future, I wanted to remind world leaders about their responsibility of preserving our world. As the decision-makers, they have to take the lead in this fight to spread the message of taking responsibility to protect the environment to their people and if they don’t take action straight away, the world will end. I want to see them hang this picture in their living room, so they can be reminded of their duty daily. Even though I’m just a businesswoman in Vietnam, I want to do my part in preserving our world and this is the first step,” said artist Nguyen Thi Kim Duc.
About the Artist
Nguyen Thi Km Duc currently serves as the Director of the Institute of Human Resources –HV Talent and the Chairman of the board of HTD Media Joint Stock Company. She also founded Butta, the first social network for the Buddhist community in Vietnam. Despite being inundated with work, Mrs. Nguyen still makes an effort to help the environment. For example, she would organise tree-planting events and use opportunities like the Vesak celebrations to spread the message of environmental protection.
Mrs. Nguyen’s passion is a result of her father’s influence. Her father is the well-known Vietnamese author Nguyen Son Dong who wrote the famous novel “Xu Doai May Trang’ and many Vietnamese poems. Mrs. Nguyen said her father’s poem “The Freshness To Life” shaped her passion in helping preserve the world human’s live in and providing a better future for the next generation. It also motivated her to create “Cover of Future”.
“On a block of wood this afternoon
Raindrops were so small
It pained my heart
But the forest was vast
People’s immensity as well,
Please join me!
For evergreen forest
The freshness to life”
From “The Freshness To Life”
Mr. Nguyen hopes that “Cover of Future” will be considered as a brand ambassador for our environment and anti-climate change, and hopefully be present around the world to promote the Green Planet protection in the future.