ClockTuesday, 09/07/2024 09:37

Restoring mirror paintings

TTH.VN - In early June, Tan Do Thanh Hieu Co group (Neo ‘Bulletin of the Friends of Ancient Hue’ group) was overwhelmed with joy, forgetting the oppressive heat as they witnessed the completion of their cherished project.

Story of the eight couplets at Xuong LangReady to commence the reconstruction of Can Chanh PalaceDiscovering the glass painting which used to belong to Can Chanh Palace

“The final steps, such as fitting the pieces of mirror paintings into frames, resulted in a product that left the whole group in disbelief. The three stunning mirror paintings lay before us, reflecting the glorious past of the Nguyen Dynasty nearly two centuries ago…”.

Those are the emotional words of Nguyen Huy, a member of the Tan Do Thanh Hieu Co group, with Thua Thien Hue Online. He expressed his heartfelt sentiments along with the group’s dedicated photo collection about their journey to restore the imperial mirror paintings of Hue after 180 years.

“All of this success is thanks to the fortuitous meetings with people who share a passion for cultural heritage - those who digitize historical photos, researchers, and artisans. These three fortuitous encounters culminated in the successful restoration of the mirror paintings,” Huy added.

Mirror painting is a decorative art form dating back to the early Nguyen Dynasty. The plan to reconstruct Can Chanh Palace motivated Tan Do Thanh Hieu Co to seek out documents about the palace and its historical artifacts, including mirror paintings. Despite the challenging restoration process, the group was driven by a powerful motivation. Their team included a member who has studied and collected Hue imperial mirror paintings for over ten years, another member skilled in digitizing detailed images of mirror paintings, a researcher specializing in Nguyen Dynasty architecture and 3D reconstructions of imperial gardens, and the participation of Tran Van Nhanh, a renowned mirror painting artist from Long An with over forty years of experience.

Thua Thien Hue Online would like to invite our readers to join us in admiring a portion of the beauty born from this passion for heritage.

 The “Tri Luu Lien Phang” painting from the Co Ha Vien Thap Canh series after restoration
Artist Tran Van Nhanh working on reverse painting techniques on glass for the "Thanh Tri Huong Luyen" 
 Artist Tran Van Nhanh inspecting the front side of the painting after completion
 The original “Tri Luu Lien Phang” displayed at the Faculty of History, University of Sciences, Hue University
By Thua Thien Hue Weekly
Be the first to review this post!


Historical photos “tell” the story of heritage

“Historical photos are precious and incredibly powerful when we understand and analyze their smallest details. An enthusiastic team may have researched a certain project for decades. However, if they do not have clear evidence, a historical photo decoded to reveal the research results can completely criticize the team effort in just... one hour,” said Nguyen Tan Anh Phong.

Historical photos “tell” the story of heritage
Discovering the glass painting which used to belong to Can Chanh Palace

In the process of digitalizing ancient documents about Can Chanh Palace, Nguyen Tan Anh Phong and his collaborators discovered one of the two glass paintings currently hung at the Department of History, College of Sciences, Hue University is the precious painting which used to belong to Can Chanh Palace in the Imperial City.

Discovering the glass painting which used to belong to Can Chanh Palace
The traces of Can Chanh Palace

Inside the Hue Imperial Citadel, Can Chanh – the most important palace after Thai Hoa Palace – was built in the 3rd year of Gia Long’s reign (1804) and destroyed in 1947. This is also the palace that is assessed by Western scholars as the most beautiful and splendid construction of the imperial citadel.

The traces of Can Chanh Palace
Mirror paintings turned into unique souvenirs

With the passion and desire to restore the traditional mirror paintings of Hue, young artist Duong Van Kinh has explored the techniques of mirror painting and created unique decorative mirror paintings.

Mirror paintings turned into unique souvenirs
Return to top