ClockThursday, 26/01/2023 14:33

Warming hearts with real experience

TTH.VN - In a drizzle and the chilly cold of Tet, my whole family sits around the table and plays Hue Art Memory Cards. The children laugh with delight as they drew two identical cards with beautiful royal motifs. Such feeling of gathering with the family on the first day of the new year is so cozy...

Kicking off the tour enjoying tea combined with visiting Hue Ancient CitadelAnnouncement of Hue Festival 2023 and reenactment of Nguyen Dynasty calendar distribution ceremony“Direct paintings of Hue” Exhibition by six paintersSeeking the way to promote the value of Champa cultural heritage in HueE-ticket system and XR virtual reality experience service launched

After the first interview with Ms. Andrea Bobo Teufel, a cultural heritage Conservator-Restorer, 17 years ago for her project of “Conservation and restoration of interior mural paintings and technical training at An Dinh palace, Hue city”, which conserved and restored 2,000m2 of Khai Tuong Lau’s mural paintings at An Dinh Palace), I have recently had the opportunity to meet her again in her own beautiful little house on Chi Lang street.

Due to her love for the ancient capital and passion for preserving and restoring Hue’s heritage, Ms. Bobo has been attached to Hue for nearly 20 years. Also, from her concern for not only preserving Hue cultural heritage but also bringing it into life, she and her colleagues came up with the idea to create Hue Art Memory Cards.

Mrs. Bobo plays Hue Art Memory Cards with her associates

Keeping Hue's art and heritage “alive”

“The traditional art motifs of Vietnam and those specific to the Nguyen Dynasty are still found everywhere in Hue today. Not only are they very aesthetically valuable, but each motif also has a meaning,” shared Ms. Bobo in excitement as she opened the story with me at the small table displaying Hue Art Memory Cards with pretty square cards. “Educational games are very popular and successful in Germany, including 'memory' games. It seemed to me to be an ideal way to make the traditional motifs of Hue art more widely known through this game.”

The 'memory' card game as such is also known as 'Pairs'. The Hue Art Memory Card has 45 twin cards, so 90 cards in total. These are divided into various categories: a Three-object set for ritual worship; the Five-object set for ritual worship; the Eight Jewels (the 8 treasures of the 8 Immortals) in Taoism; the Four Arts; the Five good fortunes; the Four seasons; the Six fruits; the Four holy animals and the other holy animals. Each category has its own background colour from so they can be visually identified and quickly found in the booklet. Many of the motifs are originally from the restored objects in Ms. Andrea Bobo Teufel’s projects in Hue, but have been reworked in the style of the Hue Art Memory Game. The style is characterized by concise hand-drawn images in vivid traditional colours.

According to Ms. Bobo, the name "Hue Artistic Memory" means to keep Hue's art and heritage "alive" in the hearts of the people. This is also a play on words, as it reflects the type of game and its content very well.

The card set is also designed by Mrs. Bobo and her associates to be completely bilingual in Vietnamese and English, so that foreigners can also understand the typical motifs of the Nguyen Dynasty as well as their meanings.

Hue Art Memory Cards

A perfect game for Tet

To make the set of Hue Art Memory Cards is both a feat and meticulousness. First, Ms. Bobo and her colleagues gathered all the motifs from the book “L'Art à Hué” (Hue Fine Arts) by Léopold Cadière, published in 1920 by the Association of Friends of Ancient Hue (Association des Amis du Vieux Hue - AAVH), and the book “Hue Fine Arts” by Nguyen Huu Thong (2001).

Not only that, the motifs are also collected and combined together from the rich knowledge of her colleague and also the master craftsman in heritage restoration projects - Mr. Nguyen Dang Khanh.

“As a team, we selected all the Hue art motifs from the Nguyen Dynasty, and used all of what we had found. After all, it is an almost full collection of Nguyen art motifs,” recalled Ms. Bobo. Then, she and her colleagues have divided the set of cards into 9 categories with 45 motifs.

The advantage of the deck is that it can be flexibly adapted to the number of players, their age and their level. The player must try to remember the positions and find the matching pairs. If players flip these matching pairs, they will be theirs. The winner is the player with the most pairs of cards.

Mrs. Bobo introduces the motifs and meanings on Hue Art Memory Cards to students

It is interesting to Ms. Bobo that children usually play much better than adults do. For the elderly, it’s an excellent memory training game, so people of all ages can play it together.

“This game keeps children away from smartphones and tablets. It strengthens children's bonds with each other and with family members and friends. During the traditional New Year days, it is a perfect game for family gathering,” continued Ms. Bobo.

It was love at first sight for Ms. Bobo when she arrived in Vietnam, and especially Hue. Even after 19 years here, she still loves it just as much. Hue in the eyes of this female heritage restoration expert is developing in a very positive and interesting direction as a heritage city. She was very happy to be actively involved in that process as a German expert of the “Society for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage” (GEKE e.V.), within the framework of the Cultural Preservation Program of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I hope that interest in cultural heritage and monuments will also be aroused and maintained in our young generation. Young people need to be in direct contact with physical things, not virtual spaces, and if this experience is positive, we can succeed in warming their hearts to foster interest, their contribution to heritage conservation,” concluded Ms. Bobo.

Story: Ngoc Ha

Photos: Andrea Bobo Teufel

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