Y Lan – The Lady Playing with Sand

Y Lan, real name Tran Thi Hoang Lan, is a famous Vietnamese artist who uses multicolored sand to create beautiful paintings. Her works are famous all over Asia, as well as in Europe and North America.

Y Lan has no formal arts training and discovered her unique talent for making sand paintings purely by mistake. In 2001, while visiting her husband’s home town in Phan Thiet she saw the coastal sands in the area and was mesmerized by their beauty and took three differently-colored varieties in a transparent flower vase. After she came home she was just obsessed with the exotic beauty of the sands, so she went back and took more sand samples of different colors. Then she started thinking about what to do with this wonderful colored sand she had gathered, and the idea for her grainy sand paintings was born. Now, Y Lan is internationally recognized as the inventor of sand painting and has established her own company selling these masterpieces all around the globe.

Although she started out with just three colors of sand, over the years, the self-taught Vietnamese artist managed to put together a collection of over eighty differently-colored sands from all over the country. She believes she has a born talent for making sand paintings but admits she spent the lat 11 years practicing her skills and creating increasingly-detailed pieces, including a mind-blowing portrait of Ho Chi Min, the famous Vietnamese leader. Y Lan says she loves all her works, but her sand portraits especially, because they require a special level of attention. A single misplaced grain of sand can cause a face to seem distorted and ruin days of work, so she’s especially fond of them She claims may artist can create sand landscapes but only a handful can create clean portraits.






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