The Champa statues in a disable man’s heart

By H.LY - K.HIEN |

(QNO) - He is Nguyen Ngoc Xuan (born in 1965) – the owner of a small souvenirs shop located near  My Son Sanctuary Site (Duy Xuyen district, Quang Nam province). It’s also the place he lives, works and sells Champa statues.

The meditative face before a new Champa statue.
The meditative face before a new Champa statue.

On the way to My Son Sanctuary Site, one of two world cultural heritages, we stopped before a small house and watched a young man sculpting  a statue. He did not realize us until we sat down and looked at the statue. With simple instruments, full of stone dust hands and splendid engraved lines, an Apsara statue – one of the symbols of the Cham culture gradually completed.
We talked with him about the statues on a simple wooden shelf, about the Buddha and elephant statues, especially the lively Apsara ones as if they were performing an one thousand year-dance at the ancient Champa citadel. Xuan’s talent is he himself can sculpt many statues as same as real Champa art works in the temples of My Son sanctuary, although he had not graduated from any art training schools… On his face was only a smile of an amateur sculptor. He showed us a wooden board standing beside the road. And we understood that Xuan could neither say and nor hear. With an innate artistic talent, since the childhood, Xuan could sculpt old Cham statues by his love to art.

One of the Cham statues sculpted by Xuan.
One of the Cham statues sculpted by Xuan.

The story about a Champa statues sculptor and the small house located on the road  to My Son Sanctuary Site was clearer when we met his mother-Mrs Van Thi Lieu. Sitting on a stone and looked at her lovely son, she said:”He sculpted the Champa statues all the day. Sometimes he completed one stautue in one day only. He made them by hands himself, without any machines and  helps from other people”. She could  talk with Xuan about any things and talk with visitors about her son’s work.
“When Xuan was a baby, my family was very poor. I and my husband had to send him to a relative family to live. Because he has not been able to say and hear , he didn’t go to school like his friends. He had to work on the fields all the day. Many days he didn’t come back home. We went out to seek and found him wandering at the My Son Sanctuary. He has loved the Cham statues since his childhood. When Xuan grew up, he began sculpting the Cham statues which he had seen at the My Son Sanctuary. Many people met and praised Xuan’s works. When he was a young men, he went out to works as a house building worker. In the free time, he continued to make Champa statues. He often went to the mountains by bicycle to seek stone for his artistic work. Sometimes he went on foot…”, Mrs Lieu told.

Xuan and his mother.
Xuan and his mother.

Loving her son, Mrs Lieu often helped Xuan to seek stone. The domestic and oversea tourists have visited My Son Sanctuary Site more and more. Many of them wanted to buy Xuan’s statues. Few years ago. Mrs Lieu built a small house to display statues which were made by her disable son.

“Xuan loves his work very much. No one and nothing can stop his passion. Therefore, even thought Xuan could not sell any statues in few weeks long, he still be happy and continued his daily work. His talent is a priceless gift for my family. We are very happy just because many people love  Xuan and like his statues…”. Mrs Lieu said.

By H.LY - K.HIEN