Members of Urban Sketchers of Vietnam are drawing Truong Tien Bridge
Preserving the beauty of the city
In the hope of helping promote and honor the value of Hue Ancient Capital, recently a team called Urban Sketchers of Vietnam has organized “Hue Sketch Journey 2018 - A Glimpse at Ancient Capital” to sketch architectural and cultural structures, landscape, people, and Hue cuisine. As a result, 100 sketches are now on display at Diem Phung Thi Art Center. This is like a highlight to honor and preserve the beauty and heritages of Hue City.
The beautiful sights of Hue such as The Citadel, Noon Gate, Nine Urns, Peace-in-Four-Directions Pavilion, Hung Temple, Museum of Hue Culture, Dieu De Pagoda, Tam Giang Lagoon, Truong Tien Bridge, etc. become vivid and lively in sketches. Hidden in each work is the feelings of each artist. Besides the beautiful sights and the famous architectural structures of Hue, sketches of street life and daily life also give the viewer true emotions in despite of their loose layouts, since the beauty of sketches is incomplete beauty anyway.
One of the sketches that many viewers enjoy is the one about the Citadel by Nguyen Dinh Viet, a 3rd-year student of Da Nang University of Architecture. The sketch is admired for its accurate depiction and the ancient look of one of the symbols of Hue Ancient Capital. “It took me only 3 hours to complete the sketch because I had a passion for ancient structures. I decided to sketch with a fountain pen to describe the raw look of the structure. It is my feelings about the heritage in the land of Huong River and Ngu Mountain,” said Viet.
"With the passion for sketching, the artists have captured typical architectural images, cultural life, and even decorative motifs which bear the typical city characteristics and are gradually disappearing. Many works are quite accurate with beautiful layouts and various techniques, materials and styles. They reflect exactly the artists’ feelings and bring the aesthetic feelings for the viewer. They help
s people and tourists understand cultural and historical values. They arouse love, respect and protection for the heritage. Since cities keep changing, sketching becomes very necessary and meaningful not only for the present but for the future as well," commented Nguyen Thien Duc, Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue Fine Arts Association.
The Citadel by Nguyen Dinh Viet
40 participants of “Hue Sketches 2018 - A Glimpse of Ancient Capital" come from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hue. They are of various careers and ages: from architects, artists, students, to retirees, the elderly, children, and both professionals and amateurs.
To the elderly, it is like a place for entertainment and recollection of the past. To the young, it is the place to connect with other people in the community, to share experience, to learn new things and to raise the awareness of respecting urban values. Those who share the common passion can participate in sketching to honor the heritage and to preserve the beauty of the city.
With a sheet of paper or a small notebook, a pen, some watercolors, sketching lovers can record life at any time and any place. “We want to preserve our feelings through the sketches so that those beautiful sights and architectural structures became good memories, beautiful images of the places where we dropped by. Sketches are easy to understand for everyone,” said Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, the architect and lecturer at Hanoi University of Architecture, head of Urban Sketchers Hanoi.
Hung Temple by Tran Dinh Vinh
Urban Sketchers of Vietnam was founded in 2013, aiming at urban sketching. “Every architectural structure, row of shops, or every house has its own value. It has soul. And, every generation is attached to the place where they were born and grew up
in. We want to dedicate ourselves to recording the process of urbanization in which some structures may be forgotten, replaced or even destroyed,” said Vu Duc Chien, the founder of Urban Sketchers of Vietnam.
In Vietnam, the team has successfully organized many sketching activities aiming at preserving and conserving urban values, promoting cities in Vietnam to the world. In the process, the awareness of urban values is gradually raised in the community and people will respect and be more responsible for the urban heritage.
Story and photos: Minh Hien