Painter George Burchett

He has decided to attach his life to the capital city of Vietnam, where he could find inspiration for his work, especially his art works.

In an exclusive interview given to a reporter of the online edition of the People’s Army Newspaper, the Australian painter talked about his father, his love for the S-shaped country, and especially his special admiration for the Vietnam People’s Army.

George Burchett is very proud of his father. He said that his dad was a young Western journalist who covered the war in Vietnam, the country’s struggle for reunification and liberation from March 1954 when he met President Ho Chi Minh in Viet Bac war zone, Thai Nguyen province. At that time, his father interviewed Uncle Ho just before Dien Bien Phu Campaign. His father then posted a number of articles to the world on how Vietnam defeated the French army.

The Australian artist also stressed that for his father, Uncle Ho was meant the strategist of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign and he was impressed with the Vietnamese leader’s simplicity.

Journalist Wilfred Burchett (left) interviewing President Ho Chi Minh in 1964

Regarding the Vietnam People’s Army, late famous journalist Wilfred Burchett’s son stressed that the Vietnamese military fought against two enemies, the French colonialists and the U.S. imperialists.

He said that Vietnam has a great heroic history. The Vietnamese military brought victories to the country. He mentioned that not only men, but also Vietnamese women, such as Trung Sisters, and Ba Trieu, fought against the enemies.

He confirmed that Vietnamese army is the best always. According to him, Vietnam has a long history of just defending the country, not invading the others. 

For him, the people he admires the most are President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, and his father – journalist Wilfred Burchett, who dedicated their lives to their countries.

Talking about the war in Vietnam, the Australian artist noted his father’s famous book named “Vietnam will win” published in 1968 and his prophecy for the final victory of Vietnamese people. In the interview, he emphasized that “Vietnam won” according to what his father prophesied.

Inspired by the articles about Vietnam reported by his father, George Burchett’s close-knit bond with Vietnam comes from the fact that he was born in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam in 1955, one year after the victory of the Dien Bien Phu Campaign and two days before Uncle Ho’s birthday.

The foreign artist who has lived in Hanoi over the past years underlined that he is proud of Vietnam where he was born. During talks with many people, he confirms that he is an Hanoian and considers Vietnam his country.

He highlighted the beauty of Hanoi in particular, and Vietnam in general. Saying that Vietnam is transforming, the “son of Hanoi” believes in the beautiful future of Vietnam where he would like to attach his remaining life to.

Journalist Wilfred Burchett (left) interviewing General Vo Nguyen Giap in 1966

The Australian artist shared that he is drawing water color paintings depicting the West Lake of Vietnam.

Hopefully he will compose more works about the S-shaped country in the coming time.

Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett (1911-1983) was among reputed journalists in the world in the 20th century.

In the 1960s, in popular shirt of Vietnamese people and bandanna, Burchett cycled in the forest in the Southern base to produce articles, books and films about the war in Vietnam. His works contributed to raising world opinions on the war, thereby fuelling the fight against that unjust war.

Wilfred Burchett bravely “jumped into fire” as journalist Thep Moi said because his articles reflected the fact of the battles he eye-witnessed though these went against political viewpoints of the West and his country’s government.

The Australian journalist was a true friend of Vietnamese people. He always supported Vietnam in international forums until his death in 1983. In his life, he sent a number of letters showing his attitude to the truth of the war in Vietnam to famous international organizations and individuals.

Translated by Mai Huong