When creation is inspired by traditional culture

In Hanoi, artists breathe new life into their crafts by incorporating features of traditional Vietnamese culture.

Flashing lanterns in the space of the Cultural and Artistic Center, located at 22 rue Hàng Buôm.
Photo: The Son – BTC/CVN

With an abundant number of relics, intangible heritages and craft villages, Hanoi holds a precious treasure considered as an inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists, designers and craftsmen. Art products and heritage-inspired works testify to the identity and diversity of Hanoian culture.

The capital Hanoi organized, in collaboration with the Vietnam Association of Architects, the Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2022, which ran from November 11 to the end of November 2022.

Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2022

With the theme “Creativity and Technology”, the Festival brings together some fifty unique activities that reveal the impressive creative designs of the products and works on display.

This event constitutes the space for art, both contemporary and modern, inviting the public to rediscover the values, the culture but also the tradition of the country. The Arts and Culture Center, located at 22 Hàng Buôm Street in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, shines with colours.

Thirty-six lanterns were hung at different lengths. This is the work”Cuôc gap go xua va nay” (literally “Meeting of yesterday and today”), by the young painter Xuân Lam. They are decorated with five colors that represent the five elements of the cosmos (ngu hanh): Wood, Metal, Fire, Water, Earth. Shaped like a cylinder, the lanterns are made of cloth on which images have been drawn, inspired by the popular patterns of Dông Hô and Hàng Trông.

The tall lanterns symbolize the world of geniuses in the belief of the Vietnamese, the lower ones represent the daily life as well as the dreams of man through popular works such as they cook (The Toad Master) or Chan trau thoi sao (Keep the buffalo to the sound of the flute). At night, they are illuminated and the patterns create a radiant image in a burst of colour.

A space reserved for popular art within the framework of the festival.
Photo: VNP/VNA/CVN

For me, popular painting is not just part of the culture. It requires preservation but above all integration into daily life so that all the inhabitants can deeply understand the cultural values ​​of the country”, says the artist Xuân Lam. In this spirit, he has renewed his artistic products by drawing inspiration from popular prints.

The 36 lanterns form a unique work of art. However, once separated from each other, each remains a decorative work in itself, whether in a restaurant, hotel, cafe or at home.

Other works inspired by national history are also on display inside the Cultural and Art Center, including silk paintings of dragons under the Ly Dynasty (1009-1225).

towards economic values

In 2019, Hanoi joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. Since then, the capital has continued to broaden its vision to become a creative capital and build a dynamic cultural industry through inclusive initiatives.

The Hanoi Creative Design Festival 2022 is one of the events that materializes the capital’s commitment to join this Creative Cities Network.

Students play traditional games.
Photo: VNP/VNA/CVN

Hanoi’s creative design activities emphasize the exploitation of heritage values. Through an ancient history, the capital has an immense heritage. It is an inexhaustible resource that allows artists to create works and affirm the cultural identity of the city.“, underlines the director of the municipal Department of culture and sports, Dô Dinh Hông.

From a cultural point of view, the creation of heritage-inspired artistic products is of great importance for the preservation and promotion of tradition.

From an economic point of view, there are still many difficulties for these creative activities to generate benefits and contribute to economic growth because currently the traditional artisan towns -where these works are created and transformed- are short of professionals and productive machinery and are They are often located far from the city center, which makes productivity low; the quality of the products is not guaranteed. Good quality products do not yet have their own brand label.

Discover the heritage through 3D technology.
Photo: VNA/CVN

However, difficult does not mean impossible. In fact, these artistic creations can be turned into useful and professional products, serving and satisfying the needs of consumers.

Therefore, it is necessary that they be invested in terms of resources and that a partnership be established between creators and dealers to make these works products rich in both traditional and economic values.

Giang Nam – Mi Anh/CVN

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