The story on how the conference poster was designed
In the summer of 1993, when I was working at the Catania section of the INFN in Italy and waiting for the official approval from Vietnam to hold the conference in Hanoi, Prof. Da-Hsuan Feng of Drexel University and I started to think about the conference poster. Da-Hsuan was the first person, who was actively envolved in all the organizing routines with me. Without his tireless and continuous support from the very beginning this conference would never be materialized.
At first, inspired by many Renaissance masters, especially Sandro Boticelli, I proposed to put a copy of "La Naissance de Venus" on the poster. However, Da-Hsuan was very careful. He said :"As this conference is the first one of this scale in nuclear physics to be held in Vietnam, we should avoid missunderstanding from the side of local people. Why don't you use your talent as a painter to draw something, which can connect the Vietnamese tradition and the importance of our conference? I remember when T.D. Lee organised a conference on relativistic heavy-ion collision in China, he asked a Chinese master to draw two fighting water buffalos, which symbolyse the collision of two-heavy ions...". The story of the water buffalos by Da-Hsuan encouraged me very much. In that evening I came up with an idea to draw a Vietnamese dragon, which is trying to swallow an atomic nucleus (!). When I told this idea to Da-Hsuan via e-mail the next day, he said :"Sounds great! Why don't you replace the nucleus by the Galaxy as our conference will also have some talks on the nuclear astrophysics as well!". After that I got 10 pages of different types of galaxies, which Da-Hsuan sent me by fax. I worked throughout one week to make various drawings for the Vietnamese dragon and to stylise the Galaxy. Each time I finished a draft I faxed it to Da-Hsuan., who contiuously told me his suggestions. Finally, I came to the version, for which Da-Hsuan said :"It's amazing!". We spent some more time to discuss the color selection and I sent the original hard copy to Da-Hsuan via registered air-mail. His Drexel university kindly offered to print the poster for us.
I received the printed copies of the poster when I was already in Hanoi. The high printing quality, the color saturation, and the good glossy paper of the poster were out of my imagination. I should mention that the quality of the poster or the cover is defined not only by how good the drawing is there. It strongly depends also on the printing quality. So the good quality of the poster or the cover is also due to the fact that they were printed in USA (the poster) and in Singapore (the cover). This was an important contribution by Da-Hsuan Feng and May Look of World Scientific, to whom I always refer. This was the first time I was fully satisfied when seeing the printed copies of my color drawing. Moreover it has been printed in the USA. It was one month after the president Bill Clinton announced the lifting of the US embargo against Vietnam.
Comments by Charles Penniman
of Franklin Institute.
Da Hsuan sent me your note about the creation of the dragon and the galaxy. During the design work here in Philadelphia Da Hsuan Feng was working with me and with Julie Fabi on the text, printing, and all of that for the poster of the Vietnamese Dragon which you drew. The actual work on our end was done in the Design Department of The Franklin Institute where there was great admiration expressed when they saw the glorious dragon which you sent. I am glad to hear that the production of the poster met with your approval. And I am glad to hear, although indirectly, from the artist.
With admiring regards,