French Artist VanLuc is Pure Gold

No matter when you go to Normandy, your first view of the D-Day Beaches is emotional.

If you happen to be there on June 6th, it is a truly moving experience. It is hard to believe that this year marks the 80th anniversary of that fateful day. The number of veterans present diminishes each year, but that doesn’t mean that the memories are lost with them. History is anchored in the region in all kinds of ways.

This year there is a new memorial on Gold Beach.


Many memorials pay homage to the brave soldiers, and rightly so, but other unsung heroes played a big part in saving France in Normandy.

The sculpture ‘Gold/B24‘ was created by the extremely talented artist VanLuc. A resident of Arromanches-les-Bains for more than 20 years, he wanted to pay homage to the brave Englishmen who built the artificial port just off the shores of “Gold Beach”. He was inspired by the large concrete platforms that remain, frozen in time, in the water just off of the coast. With a desire to create something that would last at least as long as these solemn reminders, it was an intentional choice to use concrete as his medium. English concrete refers to freedom on the beach of Arromanches a concrete building that faces the remains of the German blockhouses.

Building a creation 3.60 meters high facing the sea (and the harsh weather that comes with it), is not to be taken lightly! For a work of this magnitude, he employed the help of a hardworking team of professionals, both men and women, to whom he is eternally grateful.

Why Gold/B24?

“Gold” carries the promise of good luck, and is the name of the beach on which the English landed, thus “Gold B”. But “B” is also for “Britannique” – the English who arrived, and also for “béton”, or concrete. The “24” immortalizes the year in which it was completed. The sculpture took two years to realize and was finally placed (no small task!) in the Jardin des Pins, next to the Musée du Débarquement in Arromanches on May 14th.

It will be officially inaugurated on Saturday, June 29, 2024.

Vache de …

Born in 1959 in Brittany, his father was a Vietnamese artist, and his mother owned an art gallery in Paris. it seems quite natural that 40 years later VanLuc Nghiemphu would start a new artistic adventure with his family, after a first career in Communications. With his wife Caroline, also an artist, they decided to build a gallery in Normandy in 2001. They chose Arromanches the Landing Beaches, as it has been home to Caroline’s family for three generations.

Pourquoi la Vache?

In 1999 he wanted to create a brand to connect with the land. He adopted the popular French expression “Vache de …” to achieve this. He made a simplified, square version of the Normandy cows that grace the region and used his signature design to express himself on various subjects. Vache de NatureVache de CuisineVache d’amour … etc. This brand has become synonymous with VanLuc and is highly regarded by the Normands, many of whom have large-scale metal Vache de … sculptures at their businesses.

His new workshop and gallery opened in 2019, are open to the public, and it is an absolute delight to visit them both. It is 250 square meters dedicated to digital art, paintings, metal cows, and a variety of other products. VanLuc has such a positive, inviting energy, and you feel an instant connection to this personable artist.

He is in is happy place, and it is joyful for all who venture in, with an explosion of color, texture, and whimsy. He pours his whole heart and soul into each of his creations. Plan to spend some time here, especially if you can chat with the artist or watch him work. Don’t worry if your coup de coeur won’t fit in your suitcase, VanLuc ships worldwide!

VanLuc workshop Gallery
1 place Peter Thompson,
14117 Arromanches-les-Bains

D-Day Memorial Sites

The battle of Normandy is commemorated in many ways, through museums, cemeteries, and sculptures. Just walking around Arromanches-les-Bains, you will be moved by sculptures and various museums.

Meet VanLuc and hear him speak of his work

Here is a short list of other sites in the area that we feel merit a detour:


About the Contributor

Traci Parent

Former French teacher and boutique owner, my love for the language, gastronomy, culture, and shopping lure me to each corner of France, even though we have a home base in Nice (when not in the US). I share French hidden gems & authentic experiences at

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One Comment

  1. Art Jul 10, 2024 at 6:15 PM - Reply

    amazing story!

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