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Redesigning the Vietnamese banknotes

By 2017, Vietnam is a prospering, economically developing country, with a history of more than a thousand years. However, the current banknotes of Vietnam fail to show this current state of the country, clinging to idealisms of the past and are heavily influenced by communism. As a native Vietnamese, I find this paradox perplexing. Thus, I have chosen to redesign the Vietnamese banknotes for my project, as an attempt to speculate a contemporary, more politically and socially appropriate Vietnam. The new design incorporates both traditional and modern design elements, featuring iconic sceneries, animals, and aspects of Vietnam.

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  The 500 note features a common imagery, as it has the smallest value.    The thousand series (1000 to 50000 note) features animals of Vietnam, with the order based on their importance in the culture.

The 500 note features a common imagery, as it has the smallest value.

The thousand series (1000 to 50000 note) features animals of Vietnam, with the order based on their importance in the culture.

  The hundred thousand series (100000 to 500000 note) features nature of Vietnam, with the order also based on their importance in the culture.

The hundred thousand series (100000 to 500000 note) features nature of Vietnam, with the order also based on their importance in the culture.

The 500 Viet Nam dong note

The 500 Viet Nam dong note

Front: Decorations on Dong Son bronze drum, illustrating activities of common ancient people

Back: King An Duong’s temple in Hoa Lu, the ancient capital of Vietnam

The 1000 Viet Nam dong note

The 1000 Viet Nam dong note

- Front: illustration of the Vietnamese buffalo, seen as one of the national animals, signifying virtues of the Vietnamese e.g hardworking, patient, honest

Back: The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Ha Noi, capital of Vietnam

The 2000 Viet Nam dong note

The 2000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of the Vietnamese dragon, one of the national spiritual guardians, symbolising strength and vitality. The Vietnamese also believe they are dragon-born.

Back: My Son sanctuary, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The 5000 Viet Nam dong note

The 5000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of the Vietnamese unicorn, one of the national spiritual guardians, symbolising peace, luck and wealth.

Back: One Pillar Pagoda, an iconic piece of architecture in Vietnam history, also symbolising long lasting happiness and good luck

The 10000 Viet Nam dong note

The 10000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of the Vietnamese turtle, one of the national spiritual guardians, symbolising integrity, health and eternity.

Back: Independence Palace/Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh City, signifying unification of Northern and Southern Vietnam for Vietnam to come together as a whole and independent country

The 20000 Viet Nam dong note

The 20000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of the Vietnamese phoenix, one of the national spiritual guardians, symbolising justice, beauty, and elegance.

Back: Phong Nha cave, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The 50000 Viet Nam dong note

The 50000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of the lạc bird, a mythical bird that is iconic to Vietnam, believed to be native to ancient Vietnam

Back: Ha Long bay, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The 100000 Viet Nam dong note

The 100000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of bamboo trees, seen as national tree of Vietnam, symbolising strength in unification

Back: water puppetry, a tradition in Vietnamese art that dates back more than 1000 years ago

The 200000 Viet Nam dong note

The 200000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of mai flower, one of the native flowers of Vietnam, symbolising integrity, youthful vitality, the muse for literature and poetry

Back: terraced fields, a technique of growing rice on slopes, also symbolising agriculture – Vietnam’s predominant and most developed industry

The 500000 Viet Nam dong note

The 500000 Viet Nam dong note

Front: illustration of the lotus, national flower of Vietnam, symbolising nobility, especially amidst filth, equality, and humanity

Back: Stelae of Doctors at the Temple of Literature, symbolising the Vietnamese’s respect for knowledge and education