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Tu Bon lacquer and timeless prints

Update: 16-09-2020 | 10:20:28

Consciousness of preserving and developing traditional handicraft villages, the rise to seek beauty is the motivation that helps Tu Bon Fine Art Lacquer Company (Tu Bon Lacquer) to bring timeless lacquer products of Binh Duong land to customers.

Craftsman Le Ba Linh is always concerned about the preservation and development of traditional crafts.

 Adaption to the market

Established in 2007, in order to inherit the traditional lacquer painting, Tu Bon Lacquer specializes in manufacturing modern high-end lacquerware. The company's products are made from different materials, such as wood, plywood, MDF, bamboo, fiber-glass, ceramic, a combination between arts and crafts that offers consumers a unique product line. Over the years, Tu Bon lacquerware have gained good reputation on domestic and foreign markets. With the will to search for beauty, Tu Bon Lacquer brings customers everywhere sets of tables and chairs, flower pots, vases, jars, boxes that bear characteristics of Binh Duong lacquering.

Currently, the company makes products by orders of many domestic and foreign companies with diversified product lines, such as interior decorations, tables, chairs, souvenirs, high-class lacquer packages... The company's annual turnover is VND6-7 billion and creates stable jobs for 30 employees with an average income of VND7-8 million / person / month. Regarding export turnover, the company has an average growth of 5-7% / year, while their domestic market share increases by more than 10% / year.

That sales and growth rate for a business is modest, but very respectable for a business that produces traditional goods under a fiercely competitive market mechanism. The company has the name of pride and the will to preserve and develop handicraft, that is craftsman Le Ba Linh, Director of Tu Bon Lacquer. This craftsman is always proud of the glorious time of lacquer as well as his future plans to develop economic value while preserving the beauty of traditional culture.

Since 2010, due to the common difficulties of traditional craft villages, Tuong Binh Hiep lacquer also slowed down. The export market for lacquer products declined, due to the competition from many souvenirs, decorations that were made from diverse materials, designs and low prices. Meanwhile, the high price of domestic lacquer products could not meet the requirements of foreign customers. Facing this situation, Tu Bon Lacquer invested in new machinery and equipment to increase productivity, reduce labor costs and raw materials to be competitive on the export market. As a result, in recent years, the company has maintained good revenue, signed many big contracts, and introduced its products to international markets.

Talking about development orientation, craftsman Le Ba Linh said, current lacquer products are mainly divided into two lines. The fine art line has high sophistication and artistry. This product line is very picky with consumers, because in addition to the ability to perceive fine arts, it also requires the buyer to have good economic conditions (the product price is quite expensive). The other line is regular products that is popular in hotels, households... For many years, the company has devised a strategy to pursue the regular product line in order to adapt and preserve the craft in the difficult time.

Mr. Le said that in order for a craft to develop, it must be tied to the market economic value, must diversify customers, lower product costs to compete, and own skilled workers with a combination of tradition and modernity. In such circumstance, it is imperative that each business and production establishment has to change their production method, use new materials, diversify product designs, and apply new technologies to survive and develop. In the current context, lacquering requires hard work and diligence. In addition to the passion, lacquer painting requires market knowledge and material ownership.

Aspiration for reaching further

Tuong Binh Hiep lacquer craft village always receives the attention of provincial leaders. This has motivated craftsmen to devote their whole life to lacquer painting like craftsman Le Ba Linh. In addition to trade promotion and tourism development with the participation of lacquer craft villages, businesses and production facilities are also financially supported to build wastewater treatment systems to ensure environmental protection. This is a good signal for the sustainable development of the lacquer industry. In addition, being recognized as an intangible cultural heritage, Tuong Binh Hiep lacquer craft village is having many opportunities to preserve and promote this hundred-year-old traditional craft value. Recently, People's Committee of Thu Dau Mot City approved the project "Conservation, maintenance and development of Tuong Binh Hiep lacquer craft village in combination with tourism in Thu Dau Mot city for period 2018-2020 and following years".

However, the road ahead of Binh Duong lacquer is still full of challenges. Enterprises and establishments in craft villages face many difficulties and challenges in terms of management capacity and ability of young skilled labor. In addition, most establishments in the craft villages are very small. Therefore, it is very restricted to access and learn about quality management standards or invest in modern machinery and equipment for production in order to meet customers' requirements.

Craftsman Le Ba Linh proposed a connection between three parties (State, educational training institutions, and businesses) to preserve and develop craft villages along with the direction of Binh Duong smart city. The government creates good conditions for universities of fine arts, architecture or other schools to have faculties of industrial art, creative technology... to cooperate with craftsmen and enterprises in craft villages to bring traditional arts into new designs. The combination of tradition and modernity will create products that are adapted to the market, with new artistic trends suitable for modern life but without losing the traditional characteristics.

On top of that, conservation must always go with development. Lacquer industry is in need of young human resources. The State should facilitate connection between schools and businesses to train skilled and enthusiastic workers and guarantee stable outcome for workers. It is entirely possible for lacquer enterprises to connect with new technologies from universities instead of investing in expensive machinery. This connection helps students to create fast and beautiful designs, and, in turn, help businesses and craft villages access new equipment for production development.

Besides, in order for craft villages to reach further, the State needs to mobilize and support to connect enterprises in craft villages together to form a production chain, creating good products both in terms of quality and quantity. There, each business receives its share in accordance with its strengths. Skilled craftsmen and enterprises exchange experiences in art, techniques and materials, thereby having the linkage between craft villages, conservation and development together. The promotion of brand name together with the development of craft village tourism in concentration form will be a promising direction for the lacquer industry.

 Reported by Tieu My - Translated by Ngoc Huynh

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