During the President of the Republic of Finland Ms. Tarja Halonen’s official visit to Vietnam in February 2008, she also visited some old and new development cooperation projects in Minh Duc and Pha Rung in Hai Phong.
These visits were also observed by a famous local artist Mr. Nguyen Manh from Hai Phong who got an inspiration to paint a portrait of the President when he saw her moving in the welcoming crowd and smiling happily at the audience.
The yellow colour in the portrait illustrates the light of life and positive impression reflected from the President. The colours on her face symbolize the Finnish national colours white and blue. Mr. Manh’s impression of President Halonen is more a cubist one and very excitingly reveals the personality of President Halonen. An interesting coincidence is that also the Finnish State Council official portrait of President Halonen is dominated by yellow colour.
The Hai Phong People’s Committee wanted to officially donate the portrait to the Embassy of Finland to be forwarded to the President. Through this gift, The People’s Committee wanted to express their appreciation of the long term fresh water cooperation between Finland and Vietnam, warmly remembered by the Hai Phong people.
The Finnish Ambassador Pekka Hyvönen promised to take the portrait to Helsinki, Finland. There it was later received by the staff of the Presidential Palace. The President expressed her gratitude to the artist and the Hai Phong People’s Committee, saying the portrait brought back fond memories of her visit to Vietnam.