Thirty sculptures are on display on Tam Linh (Spiritual) Hill at the Ban Don Eco Resort and Spa in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

They are the works of 16 international and national sculptors from the Central Highlands wood sculpture camp, one of the activities of the recent third Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival.

The pieces were carved from precious wood and completed in a short time. With the theme of Thien (Zen), the sculptors have found new ways of expressing the cultural values of the region.

Inspired by Buddhist philosophy of human life, a professor at the Hue Fine Arts College , Phan The Binh, created a statue in the “nha mo” style, which is when ethnic groups build a house on a tomb to hold the belongings of the deceased so that they may be used in heaven.

The statue has an empty trunk and four sides facing four different directions. A hollowed-out canoe is decorated with designs characteristic of the Central Highland, such as “nha rong” (communal houses on stilts) and “che ruou can” (jars containing wine drunk through pipes).

The role of women is very important because families in the region have kept matriarchy alive. Thien 1 (Zen 1) and Thien 2 (Zen 2), two works by Vuong Hoc Bao of Hanoi , symbolise a Central Highland woman wearing a traditional hat.

Artist Pham Hong of Da Nang conveys to his viewers the consequences of deforestation through his work entitled Ngam (Thinking). Sculptor Vo Xuan of HCM City, inspired by seeing the region's forests ravaged during the American War, created Tai Sinh (Reborn) to express a tree sprout.

Philip Nisette and his wife, both Australian sculptors, were attracted to the Central Highlands instantly. When they first arrived, they spent hours wandering the ethnic villages. Inspired by the desolate area, they lost themselves in their work. Their three works express the Zen of Tay Thien, a Buddhist area. /.