Vietnamese teen sells painting to fight COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world, Vietnam has not been excluded from the threat. But it is during tough times that true heroes are born, and sometimes, they take on the most surprising of forms.

Previously, pictures of a 95-year-old war widow sewing face masks to distribute for free had Vietnamese netizens in tears. And recently, a disabled 15-year-old artist successfully auctioned his painting for over USD1,000 to donate to the fight against COVID-19, which has left us no less touched.

A disabled artist

Trần Nam Long, a 15-year-old boy with a hearing impairment and hyperactivity, working on one of his paintings
Image credit: Hieu Phung

15-year-old Trần Nam Long was born with a bone deficiency in his legs and suffered a lung disease when he was not even a year old. The antibiotics he took for treatment caused him to lose his hearing, and a year later, he was also diagnosed with hyperactivity.

Despite his disabilities, Long displayed talents and an interest in drawing growing up. However, after his father died in a traffic accident in 2016, his family could no longer afford to financially support his hobby.

Thankfully, when Long participated in an art contest later that year, his works caught the attention of an art teacher, who agreed to teach him for free. Thus began the then-11-year-old’s venture into professional painting.

Successfully auctioning off his art

Long next to the painting he submitted to the auction
Image credit: Hieu Phung

Late last March, when Vietnam Art Space – a forum connecting Vietnamese artists and art lovers on Facebook – organized an auction to raise funds to combat COVID-19, Long submitted one of his paintings of an ancient house in Hanoi. It was promptly bought by an anonymous collector for VND25,000,000 (USD1,062.35).

According to Long’s mother, Mdm Phùng Thị Hiếu, half of this sum will be donated to the Vietnam’s Fatherland Front, a government body, to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 in Vietnam. The other half will be reserved for Long’s leg surgery later this year. “Thank you for all the love and support,” Mdm Hiếu wrote on her Facebook wall.

Netizens are touched by his contribution towards healthcare

His painting of a historical house in Hanoi was sold for over USD1,000
Image credit: Vietnam Art Space

Long’s story quickly went viral on Facebook, attracting hundreds of shares and tons of sentiments from netizens. Facebook user Viet Nguyen commented, “Your strokes are as sure as those of a true veteran artist. I’m touched by your story. Hope you continue to create more beautiful pieces, and congrats on your success.”

Image credit: Vietnam Art Space

Another netizen named Nguyen Manh Hung wrote, “A beautiful painting, and it is well worth the price with such a story behind it. Congrats, potential artist.”

Image credit: Vietnam Art Space

Touching stories during the COVID-19 pandemic

Heartwarming stories like these deserve our recognition, as they go on to show that the pureness of the heart can shine bright even in the darkest of times.

For more COVID-19 stories, check out:

Cover image adapted from Hieu Phung

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