Pandemic Inspires Artist to Turn Artificial Fingernails Into Stunning Works of Art

A young  Vietnamese nail art expert who had to close down his business during the pandemic, used the time off to develop a stunning new kind of artificial fingernail art.

Le Dai Phat is recognized as one of the most talented nail artists in Ho Chi Minh City, and looking at his stunning hand-painted designs it’s easy to see why. From celebrity portraits to religion and Vietnamese culture-inspired designs, the 28-year-old artisan can create some truly impressive wearable artworks. But it was a new style he developed while quarantined at home because of Covid that really got people talking about him. Using up to 10 lined-up artificial fingernails, Phat is able to paint entire stories in the greatest of detail.

The Vietnamese artisan has been doing fingernail art for the past four years, and has even opened up his own nail art academy to teach aspiring artists his secrets. But it was only two months ago, when pandemic restrictions were put in place in Ho Chi Minh, and his salon had to close, that he discovered a new fingernail art style.

Le Dai Phat always considered himself a visual storyteller, and the quarantine gave him the time to take that side of him to a new level, using the same artificial fingernails he loved to work with. By aligning 5-10 large nails, he was able to paint beautiful artworks inspired by classic fairytales like The Little Match Girl, or original designs inspired by superheroes or films like Pirates of the Caribbean.

Painting artificial fingernails in such amazing detail is difficult, and Le Dai Phat spends between 1-2 weeks on regular projects, and up to 2 months on really complex ones. The materials used are nail powder, brushes and specialized paints such as acrylic colors or nail polish.

Although he is now recognized as one of Vietnam’s most talented nail artists, Le Dai Phat had to overcome adversity in order to make it as a man in a profession dominated by the opposite sex.

“In the beginning, I faced a lot of difficulties because my working environment was full of women, I had to struggle to overcome the psychological pressure as well as the prejudices of many people,” the young artist said. “In 2016, the nail industry had not developed much, so I also had difficulty in accessing knowledge as well as finding customers.”

Today, Le Dai Phat uses his incredible nail artworks to inspire others to pursue nail art, and offers classes at his own Kami Nail Academy. For more of his stunning artworks, you can follow him on Facebook and YouTube.


Photos: Le Dai Phat/Kami Nail Academy

Posted in Art        Tags: , , ,