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Sydney exhibition features Nguyễn Dynasty-inspired artwork, designs

Update: September, 16/2019 - 14:22
A visitor views some of the work on display at the Present from the Past  exhibition. — Photo Vietnam Centre's Facebook

SYDNEY — An exhibition showcases artwork and designs inspired by Vietnamese culture during the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945) has concluded in Sydney, Australia.

Entitled Present from the Past, the exhibition was held by the Vietnam Centre (VNC) – a non-government and non-profit organisation that promotes Vietnamese culture to the world.

Despite its short existence in 143 years, the Nguyễn Dynasty left profound imprints on Việt Nam’s cultural identity, which has become an endless inspiration and abundant resource for domestic artists and designers.

Besides introducing work inspired by that time, the exhibition also aimed to showcase the sophisticated and opulent vestiges of Việt Nam’s last dynasty which were created by Vietnamese contemporary artists, most of whom are in their 20s.

Among those displayed were collections of reconstructed Vietnamese ancient items, imperial costumes and paintings alongside modernised Vietnamese ancient clothing. Photos of architectural works built in the Nguyễn era were also exhibited.

A gold-plated book dated back to 1934 was part of the exhibition. — Photo

Notably, the audience was fascinated by a pair of “pháp lam” vases with illustrations of northern dances and the motif of “tố nữ” (Fair Maidens). “Pháp lam” is a technique of enameling ceramics on a metal base (gold, silver, copper) introduced to Việt Nam in the early 19th century. At its finest, the products of “pháp lam” are considered a combination of the ceramic industry with jewellery. Those products used to be produced only for Nguyễn royalty.

According to Hạnh Nguyễn, a member of organising team, the exhibition was supported by Ỷ Văn Hiên, a Hanoi-based company that produces reconstructed Vietnamese ancient attire.

Present from the Past attracted many visitors and received positive feedback from those with the love for Việt Nam and aspiration to explore Việt Nam’s original culture and history,” she said. — VNS


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