Update: 09:01 | 30/04/2019
(BGO) – I have visited the Army Corps 2 many times but last April was the first time I visited the Corps 2 Museum. It now keeps hundreds of artifacts associated with the historic Ho Chi Minh Campaign, including a special blood painting featuring Uncle Ho by Colonel, painter Le Duy Ung.
Through the gentle and inspirational presentation of Lieutenant Colonel Vu Thanh Hue, a museum staff member, we understand more about painter Le Duy Ung and the circumstance under which the painting was created.
Lieutenant Colonel Vu Thanh Hue talks about the blood painting to soldiers of the Guardsmen Battalion 46.
Colonel, painter Le Duy Ung, a war invalid, was born in 1947 in Co Hien village, Hien Ninh commune, Quang Ninh district, Quang Binh province. From an early age, he showed his aptitude for painting. While studying in the 3rd year at the Hanoi Fine Arts University, following the call of the Fatherland, in September 1971, he postponed his study and joined the army, becoming a scout soldier of Regiment 101, Division 325 (Corps 2).
In the Spring 1975 Campaign, he followed the lineup of the Corps 2 as an assistant in charge of information and training to advance to liberate Saigon. In the morning of April 28, 1975, when the troops were only 30 km away from Saigon's gate, at the Nuoc Trong base, he got enemy’s bullets, and fainted away with his eyes broken.
When he woke up, he thought that he was about to die because his eyes, head and chest were bleeding but he felt very alert (a soldier's experience shows that if anyone is seriously injured and still feels alert, it means he or she is about to die).
With the heart of a revolutionary soldier for the Fatherland and Uncle Ho, he thought that before he died, he should leave something meaningful. Therefore, soldier Le Duy Ung used the blood taken from his ecstatic eyes to draw a portrait of Uncle Ho, a Party flag, and a national flag on his white shirt and write the words "Light of faith, I volunteer to devote my youth to Uncle Ho”.
After finishing the painting, he folded it carefully and fainted again. The blood painting has become a symbol of the belief to win and the vigorous vitality of the Liberation Army soldiers.
The restored version of Uncle Ho portrait painted with blood by painter Le Duy Ung is displayed at the Corps 2 Museum.
Colonel Do Van Sau, Director of the Corps 2 Museum, said: “The museum has more than 30 artifacts presented by Colonel, painter Le Duy Ung. These are all "talking" objects about the heroic fighting years of the Corps 2 since its establishment. Each object is associated with a specific story, helping viewers to understand more about the real life in the battlefield, the hardships and sacrifices of soldiers who went through the national defence wars; creativity, optimism, love for family, homeland and country, comradeship, ideals and responsibilities of young people for the Fatherland's destiny. Therefore, we are determined to preserve these artifacts in the best way. The portrait of Uncle Ho painted with blood, although it is only restored, have been brought to many exhibitions in localities and units and placed at the central position”.
Throughout his life, painter and wounded soldier Le Duy Ung has created thousands of paintings and statues, and won many artistic awards at home and abroad. Most of his awarded works are paintings and statues of Uncle Ho and General Vo Nguyen Giap.
He has organized nearly 50 exhibitions across the country. With outstanding achievements in the anti-America resistance war, on October 30, 2013, Colonel, painter Le Duy Ung was conferred the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces by the State President.