Vietnamese Artist Sculpts Papaya Fruits into Realistic Flowers

Nguyen Thi Thu is one of the few remaining artists practicing and constantly enhancing the traditional Vietnamese art of sculpting realistic-looking flowers out of papaya fruits.

Thu became enamored with carving various flowers from papaya fruits at the age of 15, when, like many other parents during the 1980s, her family registered her for an exclusive class on the art of sculpting the tropical fruit. She was fascinated by the traditional art form, but then she had to move to Russia for 15 years, where, because she was too busy working and had no access to green papayas, she couldn’t practice her favorite art form. She tried it with all sorts of other fruits and vegetables, including watermelons, but nothing was quite like the papaya she knew. When she went back to Hanoi in 2009, she immediately got back into papaya sculpting, and she has been practicing the craft ever since.

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