|Picture tells story: The image from page 281 in the epic poem Luc Van Tien (The Tale of Luc Van Tien) is introduced at a Vietnamese Folk Paintings-Triptych exhibition. — VNS File Photo
HCM CITY (VNS)— A Vietnamese folk painting exhibition recently opened at the Institute of Cultural Exchange with France (IDECAF) in HCM City.
Tranh Dan Gian Viet Nam – Tranh Bo Ba (Vietnamese Folk Paintings – Triptych) showcases unpublished wood engravings illustrating Luc Van Tien (The Tale of Luc Van Tien), an epic poem by Nguyen Dinh Chieu written in nom (the old Chinese-based Vietnamese script).
The engravings were carved at the end of the 19th century by a Hue-based artist hired to illustrate the poem. Intended as drafts for those illustrations, they stand out as art in their own right.
The paintings made it into a 300-page book, given to the French Academy of the Far East (EFEO) in 1899 and rediscovered two years ago.
Visitors to the exhibition can also view documents and images from two books on Vietnamese folk art during the 19th and 20th centuries: Technique du Peuple Annamite (Mechanics and Craft of the Annamites) by Henri Oger (1908) and Imagerie Populaire Vietnamienne (Vietnamese Folk Painting) by Maurice Durand (1960).
The exhibition was organised by the French Development Agency (AFD) and EFEO.
A conference on Vietnamese folk painting held on the same day featured Professor Phan Huy Le, president of the Viet Nam Association of Historical Science, as well as Philippe Papin from the Practice College under the University of Sorbonne and Oliver Tesser and Pascal Bourdeaux from EFEO in Ha Noi and HCM City.
The exhibition, which closes on April 6, is located at IDECAF at 28 Le Thanh Ton Street in District 1. — VNS