Monday, September 25 2017

VietNamNews

Road marks a thousand years

Update: September, 17/2017 - 09:00
Sightseeing spot: Tourists pose in front of the Ceramic Road, the recipient of a Guinness World Record, in Hà Nội. The work received the Bùi Xuân Phái Award in 2008. — Photo mytour.vn
Viet Nam News

When the capital city turned a thousand years old, a special road was built.

It is a road filled with artwork, called the Ceramic Road.

Mosaics and murals make the six-kilometre long road both beautiful and interesting.

It was painter Nguyễn Thu Thủy who first got the idea of the road off the ground.

"The Ceramic Road" along the Red River has adorned Hà Nội like a colourful ribbon seven years since it was inaugurated to mark the capital city’s millennial celebrations.

The project to build the "Ceramic Road" was initiated by painter Nguyễn Thu Thủy, who received the first Bùi Xuân Phái – For the Love of Hà Nội Award in 2008.

The Award was created by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s Thể thao Văn hóa (Sports & Culture) newspaper to honour outstanding artists, authors and scholars who base their works on the beauty and charm of the capital city.

The Award is named after renowned painter Bùi Xuân Phái (1920-88) whose iconic works on the capital city have achieved global fame. Through 10 seasons, the Award has honoured the contributions of many Vietnamese and foreign individuals and organisations to society, culture and the arts in Hà Nội.

To this day, the award winners’ works and values continue to fulfill the mission of adding beauty, charm and culture to the capital city.

"The Ceramic Road", done by artist Thủy and her colleagues, is a prime example.

The project started in 2007, decorating the walls of the Red River dyke with colourful tiles depicting many themes. It was inaugurated in 2010 to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Hà Nội, espousing the idea of invigorating urban Hà Nội and bringing local communities together through public art.

It earned the city a place in the Guinness World Records with the world’s largest ceramic mosaic.

At the outset, The Ceramic Road was 3.85km long, but this has since expanded to a 6km-long mural featuring 35 professional artists from Việt Nam and 10 foreign countries, and over 100 artisans from traditional ceramic villages, as well as children and students from fine arts colleges in the country.

Thủy said the artists are very proud to have been awarded a Guinness World Record.

“The project of building the Ceramic Road was an ideal way to commemorate the city’s millennial anniversary,” she said.

“We are so happy that the work brings pride to Hà Nội and that the people of the city enjoy the mural’s beauty for many years to come.”

“The integration of international artists and children’s art depict many different moods, cultures, eras of history and styles, and they have all been created with the greatest craftsmanship.”

However, many parts of the Ceramic Road have been damaged due to vagaries of the weather and irresponsible actions of people. Thủy said the municipal departments of culture and construction should join hands to repair and maintain the work more regularly. The most recent restoration work took place two years ago.

The Ceramic Road project transformed the Red River dyke, which used to be covered with illegal graffiti and commercial advertising.

It even inspired residents of Hà Nội to create more murals to beautify their living spaces. With their own money, residents of Lane 78, Duy Tân Street, built a 200m-long ceramic mural showing familiar images of the capital such as the Temple of Literature, Ngọc Sơn Temple and Thê Húc Bridge.

It was an effective way to prevent advertisements being glued on walls and to make it a sightseeing spot.

Another Bùi Xuân Phái Award recipient, the Old Quarter’s pedestrian streets, have now become a cultural hub for residents and foreign tourists. Thousands throng the area to listen to music, drink beer and have fun.

The pedestrian streets area is also the rendezvous for members of the Hoàn Kiếm Chess Club.

“Thanks to the pedestrianised streets, we have a place to share our hobby and we hope to promote Vietnamese culture through chess,” said Lưu Đức Hải, head of the club.

“People of different ages and nationalities gather here every weekend to express their passion for chess.”

A tourist from the US, Jarrah McCue, said it was a wonderful community activity and he was excited to join though he was defeated by a highly capable opponent.

VNA Director General Nguyễn Đức Lợi said that after 10 years of establishment, the Bùi Xuân Phái Award had affirmed its role and position in the country’s social, political and cultural spheres.

The Award are classified into four categories: Grand Prize, Idea Prize, Job Prize and Work Prize. 

Previous winners of the Grand Prize are: Nguyễn Vinh Phúc, a scholar specialising in Hà Nội research (2009), writer Tô Hoài (2010), Prof Phan Huy Lê (2011), guitarist Văn Vượng (2012), and photographer Quang Phùng (2013). 

Many foreigners have also received the Award, including UK diplomat John Ramsden for his photo collection capturing the life of Hà Nội during the 1980s, French researcher Olivier Tessier, chief of the Hà Nội-based Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient (French School of Asian Studies), for his research on Hà Nội’s Ancient Citadel, Uruguay author Martin Rama for the book Hà Nội, Một Chốn Rong Chơi (Hanoi, Promenade), James Joseph Kendall, a US national, and the Keep Hà Nội Clean team for their contributions to environmental protection in the city, and French singer and musician La Grande Sophie, who wrote the Hà Nội song. — VNS 

GLOSSARY

"The Ceramic Road" along the Red River has adorned Hà Nội like a colourful ribbon seven years since it was inaugurated to mark the capital city’s millennial celebrations.

To adorn a place means to make it look beautiful.

Inaugurated means launched.

A millennial [birthday] is a one thousandth birthday.

The project to build the "Ceramic Road" was initiated by painter Nguyễn Thu Thủy, who received the first Bùi Xuân Phái – For the Love of Hà Nội Award in 2008.

Initiated means started.

The Award is named after renowned painter Bùi Xuân Phái (1920-88) whose iconic works on the capital city have achieved global fame.

Renowned means famous.

 "The Ceramic Road", done by artist Thủy and her colleagues, is a prime example.

Colleagues are people you know through work.

The project started in 2007, decorating the walls of the Red River dyke with colourful tiles depicting many themes.

Depicting means “representing in a picture”.

It was inaugurated in 2010 to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Hà Nội, espousing the idea of invigorating urban Hà Nội and bringing local communities together through public art.

An anniversary means a date that marks the exact day something happened any number of years ago.

Espousing an idea means taking up an idea.

Invigorating urban Hà Nội means making it lively.

An urban area is an area that is within a city, like Hà Nội.

It earned the city a place in the Guinness World Records with the world’s largest ceramic mosaic.

A mosaic is a piece of artwork made up of many pieces of tiles. Ceramic means pottery.

At the outset, The Ceramic Road was 3.85km long, but this has since expanded to a 6km-long mural featuring 35 professional artists from Việt Nam and 10 foreign countries, and over 100 artisans from traditional ceramic villages, as well as children and students from fine arts colleges in the country.

Expanded means “made bigger”.

A mural is wall art.

Professional artists are artists who do art to earn their living rather than as a hobby.

Fine arts means creative art, especially painting.

 “The project of building the Ceramic Road was an ideal way to commemorate the city’s millennial anniversary,” she said.

Commemorate means celebrate.

“The integration of international artists and children’s art depict many different moods, cultures, eras of history and styles, and they have all been created with the greatest craftsmanship.”

Integration means”joining in”.

An era is a period in history.

However, many parts of the Ceramic Road have been damaged due to vagaries of the weather and irresponsible actions of people.

Vagaries are unexpected changes.

 The most recent restoration work took place two years ago.

Restoration means repair work to bring something back to how it was before it was damaged.

The Ceramic Road project transformed the Red River dyke, which used to be covered with illegal graffiti and commercial advertising.

Transformed means changed.

A dyke is a wall that is built to keep water out.

Graffiti is made up of drawings and writing on walls that is done by people wanting to act against the establishment. If it is illegal it is against the law to write on draw on those walls.

Commercial advertising means displaying advertisements that will bring business to the subjects of the advertisements.

It even inspired residents of Hà Nội to create more murals to beautify their living spaces.

If you are inspired by something, it gives you the energy to go and do something positive.

Another Bùi Xuân Phái Award recipient, the Old Quarter’s pedestrian streets, have now become a cultural hub for residents and foreign tourists.

Pedestrians are people who get from one place to another by walking.

A hub is a central place that people arrive at and leave from.

Thousands throng the area to listen to music, drink beer and have fun.

To throng means to gather in great numbers.

The pedestrian streets area is also the rendezvous for members of the Hoàn Kiếm Chess Club.

A rendezvous is a place where people meet up.

A tourist from the US, Jarrah McCue, said it was a wonderful community activity and he was excited to join though he was defeated by a highly capable opponent.

To be defeated means to be beaten.

A capable opponent is someone who enters a competition against you and is good at the game.

VNA Director General Nguyễn Đức Lợi said that after 10 years of establishment, the Bùi Xuân Phái Award had affirmed its role and position in the country’s social, political and cultural spheres.

Affirmed, in this case, means claimed.

Spheres are areas of life.

Many foreigners have also received the Award, including UK diplomat John Ramsden for his photo collection capturing the life of Hà Nội during the 1980s.

A diplomat is a person who represents the government of a country in another country.

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

  1. The nationality of the author Martin Rama.
  2. A French word for “school”.
  3. A game that Lưu Đức Hải plays.8u
  4. A structure with the name Thê Húc.
  5. Hà Nội is the _______ city of Việt Nam.

 

 

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© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Uruguayan; 2. Ecole; 3. Chess; 4. Bridge; 5. Capital.

 

 

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