This story was first published on August 2, 2013
Circulating message that features a series of images depicting objects shaped like human female breasts claims that the objects are gourds or pumpkins that grow naturally in Vietnam.
The objects are not naturally growing gourds or pumpkins as claimed. In fact, they are the work of Vietnamese artist, Nguyen Thi Hoai Mo and are made from silicon and other materials. The artwork luffas graced a wall at the Goethe Cafe in Hanoi.
Can any one of you Guess what is this ……..?
Oh no it’s not. . . . .
It’s a Vietnamese gourd or pumpkin.
Oh yes it is!
I wonder what the neighbours will say when I plant some of these along the fence next year?
This rather compelling series of images circulates via email, the blogosphere and social media websites. The description that comes with the images claims that the objects depicted are gourds – or in some variants, pumpkins – that grow naturally in Vietnam.
The gourds have more than a passing resemblance to female breasts, complete with realistic looking nipples. The images have generated a lot of discussions online, with a number of keen gardeners asking where they can procure seeds for the unusually shaped gourds.
However, the objects are not naturally growing “fruit” as suggested in the message. In fact, they are the work of Vietnamese artist, Nguyen Thi Hoai Mo. They are modelled after luffas (Vietnamese gourds) that are a popular food plant in Vietnam. The Look At Vietnam website discussed the artwork luffas, noting in a December 2011 blog post:
Luffas formed into the shapes of women’s breasts displayed in the Goethe Cafe, a part of the German Goethe Institute, located on Hanoi’s Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, have amazed many people over the past few days.
All of the luffas there have a long shape and a pinkish color resembling that of human skin, rather than the usual green of the species. The fruits and vines “grow” upon on a bamboo frame set against a wall, creating a fresh-looking and close-to-nature feeling inside the cafe.
In fact, these breast-shaped luffas are man-made products created by Nguyen Thi Hoai Mo, a 28-year old artist hailing from Ha Tinh.
She used silicon and composites to make them, and crafted the shape of each “fruit” by hand.
By adding art to the fruits, which are integral to Vietnamese rural life, Mo aimed to convey a message of femininity and women power from a more open perspective in the modern world.