Culture Culture

25/12/2020 - 08:43

The heritage of Hue in sketches and on conical hats and Ao dai

The exhibition “Sketching Hue Ancient Capital 2020” at Diem Phung Thi Art Center in late November introduces to the viewer the beauty of the heritage city depicted in sketches and on conical hats and Ao dai (the traditional costume of Vietnamese people.)

Artists sketching Hue landscapes

With the desire to honor and promote the value of Hue ancient capital, 60 members of the Hanoi urban sketch group departed for Hue on the early days of the spring of 2020 to participate in the "Sketching Journey in Hue 2020” together with many other artists in Hue and Da Nang.

The sight of nearly 100 artists, old and young, sitting along corridors, on courtyards, or in parks added to the poetic beauty of Hue in early spring. During 3 days, 200 sketches about Hue architecture, culture, landscapes, people and cuisine were born.

Their impressions of the poetic landscape and beautiful sceneries of Hue such as the Citadel, Noon Gate, Minh Mang Mausoleum, Tu Duc Mausoleum, Dong Ba Market, Nam Giao Esplanade, Truong Tien Bridge, the rain in Hue, etc., were vividly and exquisitely sketched by architects and painters. The 150 sketches on display at the exhibition "Sketching Hue Ancient Capital 2020” at Diem Phung Thi Art Center are a highlight to introduce and honor the beauty of the city and the heritage of Hue.

With different feelings and styles, many sketchers went beyond just recording the heritage, but lively and sophisticatedly depicted it, which made the viewer surprised to see the beauty of familiar constructions.

“Hue has always been an endless source of inspiration for many artists. Poetic landscape, ancient architectural constructions, and amiable and friendly people all combine to become a profound, peaceful and romantic “picture.” The Hanoi urban sketch group includes both professional and amateur painters of all ages and professions who want to express their love for Hue in the language of sketching,” said Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, the architect and lecturer at Hanoi University of Architecture, head of Hanoi Urban Sketch Group.

Khai Dinh Mausoleum as sketched by Tran Thi Thanh Thuy

The nostalgia of ancient and profound Hue absorbed in the heart of each artist is now overflown through strokes and colors. Street corners, the citadel, pagodas, royal mausoleums, etc., appeared differently in a vivid way, depending on artists’ feelings and perspectives. Through the sketches on display the viewer can see the innocence of young people, the nostalgia of writers and teachers, and the strong character of architects and journalists...

Many sketches are accurately and well arranged. They are diverse in material and style with various techniques. They express accurately the painters’ feelings and provide a better understanding of the heritage and its historical and cultural values. 

Just with a sheet of paper or a little notebook, a pen or some watercolor, sketchers can record life from any street corners at any time. They help preserve the images of architectural constructions and life before they change.

“We want to preserve our emotions through sketches so that constructions and landscapes become beautiful memories of places we drop by. Since sketches are easy to understand and access, they can spread quickly,” said the architect Tran Thi Thanh Thuy.

In this exhibition, the beauty of Hue is not only shown in sketches but also on postcards, graceful Ao dai and charming conical hats. The fashion designer Viet Bao uses some of the sketches as decorative patterns in his collection "Ao dai and Hue Painting".

“Sketching Hue Ancient Capital 2020" is an art journey to contribute to preserving and promoting the value of the cultural heritage of Hue. The activities such as sketching, Ao dai shows, painting donation and auction to support those who suffered from natural disasters are chances for those who love art and respect the heritage to meet one another. Each sketch is a beautiful memory of the heritage of the ancient imperial capital, helping to spread the message that we should preserve, protect and honor the value of the heritage of the ancient capital,” said Mrs. Dinh Thi Hoai Trai, Director of Hue Museum of Fine Arts. 

Story and photos: MINH HIEN