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VietNamNews

Traditional crafts go to imperial city

Update: March, 19/2015 - 09:55
Paper petal: Paper lotus flowers made by Hue artisan Than Van Huy. The revival of old paper-flower making techniques has given new life to adormant craft in a Hue village. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
THUA THIEN-HUE  (VNS) — Craft workers from traditional villages nationwide will gather in the former imperial capital city of Hue to display their handiwork over five festive days at the Hue Traditional Craft Festival.

The biennial event will be launched on the evening of April 28 and will end on May 2, showcasing wood and bronze casting, conical hat making, traditional embroidery and manual textile production.

An entire pedestrian street in Hue along the Huong (Perfume) River has been dedicated to honouring 200 artisans from 40 craft villages around the country.

Antiques showcasing the era of Phuong Duc bronze casting will be on display in old Hue.

According to the local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the event's main aim is to highlight the quintessential nature of crafts that continue to be practiced, linking them to the needs of modern life.

Mass production has wiped out many craft products that were once used as part of daily life in Viet Nam. Wooden, bamboo, rattan and terracotta products have been replaced by plastic ones over time.

However, craft villages have made a strong comeback in recent years thanks to efforts by devoted artisans from such villages. Thus, the upcoming festival will be the right occasion to promote the artisan's hard work and philosophy, the event's organisers said.

In Hue, in particular, which is home to several craft villages that once served the royal family, certain products by artisans have gained a firm grip on the market. Artisan Than Van Huy, who revived an old technique for making paper lotus flowers, told Viet Nam News that he had received strong demand for his products from major cities, such as Ha Noi, Da Nang and HCM City.

He said the upcoming event presented an opportunity to introduce new products.

The event will also showcase artistic items made from a new type of craft paper, truc chi. The Truc Chi workshop's manager Ngo Dinh Bao Vi said the products would help prove the suitability of applying contemporary ideas to old techniques inherited from one's ancestors.

The five-day event will also feature fashion shows by the country's leading designers, including Minh Hanh and Lan Huong and guest designers Patis Tesoro from the Philippines, MoHom Loikhamleng from Myanmar, Eric Choong from Malaysia, and Milo Emilio Migliavacca from Indonesia, as well as Wisharawish Akarasantisook from Thailand.

The costumes to be presented at the shows have been made from brocade, using the manual techniques of the ethnic Zeng.

An exhibition of Japan's national costume, the kimono, will occupy a space at the event as well. Several activities will be held in addition to the main event, including community activities such as boat racing and kite flying, music performances by local children, and a rock show to attract young people to the craft festival.

A parade honouring the artisans from bygone eras will serve as a key street activity on the city's main street. — VNS

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