Họa Kiếng exhibition, featuring traditional glass paintings of the south in Việt Nam, has attracted many young Vietnamese and foreign visitors. — Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Đức Huy
HCM CITY — More than 60 glass paintings – an original art of the South – are on display at an exhibition at Common 9 Café & Bar on 62 Trần Hưng Đạo Street, HCM City.
All the paintings have been collected in the past six years by young collector Nguyễn Đức Huy, who is also a enthusiast of Southern traditional arts.
Entitled Họa Kiếng (Glass Painting), the exhibition aims to offer the audience, particularly a young audience, a new look on the ancient art form, as well as promote the values of traditional arts that is falling into oblivion, Huy told Việt Nam News.
The paintings exhibited portray fairy characters that are popular in the south like Guan Yin or Kwan Kung, some of which created in the 1920s like the glass painting of Guan Yin that was made in 1927.
Glass painting was brought to Việt Nam by Chinese immigrants more than a century ago and soon became a popular interior design style distinctive to the south. It faded during the resistance war against the French colonialists.
A corner of Họa Kiếng exhibition. — Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Đức Huy
The main theme for southern glass paintings are classic references, Buddha, holy symbols or those with prosperity worshipping meaning. They were put up on the altars, above the main doors or in the main rooms of the houses in the south. Their venues and applications were virtually unlimited, including temples, pagodas and restaurants, rich houses in central, urban areas as well as poor ones in rural areas.
The traditional art form is facing extinction as there are as few as just ten artisans in the south pursuing the art.
Họa Kiếng will open until October 16 with free entrance. — VNS