Swiss watch brand admits using Vietnamese artist’s work

By Ha Thu   July 5, 2023 | 01:02 am PT
Swiss watch manufacturer Christophe Claret confirmed using Vietnamese painter Xuan Lam’s two paintings on their design “Hai Ba Trung” (Trung Sisters).
The Hai Ba Trung (Trung Sisters) design made by Christophe Claret. Photo from Christophe Claret’s Facebook

The "Hai Ba Trung" (Trung Sisters) design made by Christophe Claret. Photo from Christophe Claret’s Facebook

The Swiss company removed old social media posts about the design and uploaded a new post on their Instagram account Tuesday, captioned: "Christophe Claret thanks artist Xuan Lam for allowing us to graciously use the original painting "Hai Ba Trung.""

In an interview with VnExpress, Xuan Lam said after being informed about Christophe Claret’s controversial design, his lawyer contacted the Swiss brand and discussed the matter with them.

"After the discussion, I agreed to let them use my paintings," the Vietnamese painter said.

The controversy started as Christophe Claretunveiled its new watch "Hai Ba Trung" on its Facebook account on May 26, saying it wanted "to pay homage to the two sisters" and "the entirely handmade miniature painting [was created] by André Martinez."

After that, many, including Vietnamese arts experts, pointed out the likeness between the design and two of the paintings Xuan Lam had displayed in a personal exhibition in 2019, namely "Hai Ba Trung" and "Thien Ha Thai Bình" (A Peaceful World). The Vietnamese painter was encouraged to fight for his copyright.

Lam’s paintings Thien Ha Thai Binh (L) and Hai Ba Trung. Photo from Lam’s website

Lam’s paintings "Thien Ha Thai Binh" (L) and "Hai Ba Trung." Photo from Lam’s website

A graduate of the Vietnam University of Fine Arts, Lam, 30, has received a Fulbright scholarship and is about to start a master’s program in the U.S. this fall.

Named after its founder, Christophe Claret is renowned for its high-end watches.

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