|Porcine porcelain: The exhibition has attracted many visitors including foreigners. — VNS Photos Minh Thu|
HÀ NỘI — Pig-related paraphernalia originating from the kilns of Bát Tràng Village and around the world are on display at an exhibition entitled ‘My Zodiac Animal – Prosperous Pig’.
The exhibition showcases 2,000 models of pigs selected from historian Dương Trung Quốc’s collection. The swine fanatic owns a collection of 6,000 pig-based objects of various sizes and shapes.
As a delegate of the National Assembly and vice chairman of the Việt Nam Association of Historical Sciences, Quốc had the chance to visit many places on business trips. He developed a hobby of collecting pig-related items because he was born in the year of the pig.
“As time goes by, I look at the collection and realise that its value is not about the huge number of items, but about the memories and stories of each item,” he said.
|Peter porker: The exhibition shows pig items varied in materials and origins.|
“I have more than 6,000 pig items, but my Spanish friend, who also was born in the year of the pig, owns a collection of 10,000 items. I was surprised to find we have only a few similar items. That means there are countless pig-related things around the world. People love to make them.”
Quốc decided to showcase a part of the collection for the first time because he realised that the collection doesn’t just belong to himself, it should be introduced to the public, especially young people.
“It’s a good time to display them because the year of the pig is coming. I want to inspire young people because collecting something will bring joy, knowledge and interesting experiences for them.”
“I also expect that visitors will gain more knowledge about Vietnamese and foreign cultures through this exhibition,” he said.
|Pig party: Dương Trung Quốc said he opened the exhibition to inspire young people because collecting something will bring joy, knowledge and interesting experiences.|
Quốc also received pig items as gifts from friends and relatives.
Pottery artisan Nguyễn Văn Toán is a close friend of Quốc. When he starts a batch, he makes a pottery pig and uses it to check the enamel and temperature of the kiln. When he finishes, he gives the pig to Quốc. Over 10 years, he has tested the kiln more than 100 times.
“I know that Quốc loves collecting pigs, so I give him pottery pigs I make,” said Toán.
Now he looks at the pigs displayed at the exhibition, and was surprised he has given so many pigs to Quốc.
“When I test the kiln and the enamel, I make the pigs with sudden inspiration, so they are unique, no one looks like others.”
|Not boring: A sculpture of a pig by artist Thái Nhật Minh.|
The exhibition is divided into different sections depicting Pigs in Vietnamese Culture, Pigs in the World, Piggy Banks, and Souvenirs and Gadgets in the Shape of Pigs.
Visitors can see pigs in key rings, potted plants, cups and paperweights.
The exhibition kicked off on Thursday in Hà Nội.
The exhibition will run through February 19 at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, 36 Lý Thường Kiệt Street, Hà Nội. — VNS