As one of the 12 Zodiac Animals, the Tiger symbolises willpower, courage, and personal strength. The image of the tiger is not only featured in Vietnamese fairy tales, folk songs, and proverbs, but is also used in decorative items and souvenirs.

Artisan Nguyen Tan Phat utilises various materials for his tiger sculptures, including jackfruit wood and laterite.

Last year, Phat produced a collection of 1,010 sculptures of buffalo, which was the zodiac sign of the year 2021


To date, Phat has completed work on more than 700 tiger sculptures, and his entire collection is expected to be complete by April 30, 2022.

Phat’s tiger sculptures are entirely manually made and come in a range of sizes and colours.

Through Phat’s great skill, a piece of wood undergoes many processing steps to become a sophisticated sculpture, from carving to dyeing and gold inlaying.

Artisan Nguyen Tan Phat and a wood sculpture of a tiger with two wings.

Several tiger sculptures made by Nguyen Tan Phat.

Among the completed sculptures, the most time-consuming ones were the five solid wood tiger chairs in five ritual colours of yellow, blue, white, red, and black, which match the Five Elements: Earth, Wood, Metal, Fire, and Water, respectively.