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Exhibition shows the beauty of Vietnam northern ancient village

May 24, 2020 | 06:20

The exhibition will show some of 50 paintings from a field trip to the long-standing Cuu Village in Phu Xuyen District, about 40km south from Hanoi's downtown. 

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exhibition shows the beauty of old northern village
Oil-on canvas painting Bạn (Friend) by Duong Tuan. (Photos courtesy of artists/ via VNS)

Nine artists will display their new artworks at an exhibition entitled Bong Di San (Shadow of Heritage) at 29 Hang Bai Exhibition House in Hanoi that opens tomorrow.

The artists include Duong Tuan, Van Tuat, Chu Viet Cuong, Minh Dong, Can Manh Tuong, Đat Phu, Tuan Dat, Nguyen The Long, and Nguyen Minh.

The exhibition will show some of 50 paintings from a field trip to old Cựu Village in Phu Xuyen District, about 40km south of Hanoi, which is more than 500 years old. The village used to boast a thriving tailoring craft and is filled with French-style houses.

“We went around the village to find old houses, gates and mossy walls which impress us,” said Tuan.

exhibition shows the beauty of old northern village
Cong Nhà (Gate) by Dương Tuấn.

After the trip, Tuan drew three oil-on-canvas paintings which he will show at the exhibition. One called Ban (Friend) features only an old sewing machine, which represents Cuu villagers.

He used a low tone for the painting with grey and brown featuring old and simple equipment to remind people about the traditional job.

“Tailoring helped the villagers become rich and they built the French-style houses which were quite different from typical rural villages of northern Việt Nam. But now it seems nobody lives in these houses,” said Tuan.

In another painting entitled Cong Nha (Gate), he drew a beautiful gate in the village.

“I think the house owner must be rich to build such a beautiful gate. I was moved to see the beauty of the old gate when sunlight shone through it.”

exhibition shows the beauty of old northern village
A lacquer painting by Cấn Mạnh Tưởng. (Photos courtesy of artists/ via VNS)

While Tuan's paintings are a realist style, Minh went for a more distinctive, semi-abstract look with one of his, featuring cubes with strong tones of red, yellow and blue.

“I personally always care about what is different from others,” Minh said. “I do not want to follow a pattern of common things, especially in my work. I set the stage to study and change myself, of course, each stage must be new.”

The exhibition will kick-off a project entitled Danh Thuc Di San (Awaken Heritage) carried out by the artists.

“This is our long-term project,” said Minh. “We hope the paintings will bring tangible and intangible heritage closer to the public and promote culture value preservation.”

Tuong was also impressed by the unique old beauty and cultural value of Cuu Village.

“Quietness is my first feeling when I come to the village,” said Tuong. “Very few people were walking in the street and it was not noisy and busy like some old villages I have been to.”

Tuong will show five lacquer paintings at the exhibition. The exhibition will open tomorrow and run till May 26.

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