Exhibition reflects 2,000-year history of Vietnam’s ceramics

Friday, 2021-11-19 16:50:04
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An enamel plate dates back to the 18th century. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – A exhibition named “Vietnam Ceramics – A Separate Tradition: From the An Bien collection” was launched at Vietnam National Museum of History (VNMH) in downtown Hanoi on November 19 to mark the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23).

Held by the VNMH in collaboration with the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association and collector Tran Dinh Thang who owns the An Bien collection, the exhibition aims to give the public an insight into Vietnam’s ceramics through four main stages – the first 10 centuries AD, the 11th – 14th centuries, the 15th – 17th centuries, and Bat Trang ceramics from the 18th – 19th centuries.

In Vietnam, the first pieces of ceramics were created around 7,000 – 8,000 years ago and pottery became popular in daily life about 4,000 years ago, said Nguyen Quoc Binh from the VNMH who is in charge of the exhibition.

Pottery flourished the most during the 15th – 17 centuries when many craftsmen were capable of performing sophisticated techniques in making ceramics. Hai Duong’s Chu Dau became the country’s largest pottery hub at that time, where ceramics were also made for exports. Vietnam was one of the world’s leading ceramics exporters during the period.

Between the 17th – 18th centuries, Vietnam’s pottery lost its foothold to the Europe and Japan. Many pottery hubs have disappeared since then but Hanoi’s Bat Trang that remains until today.

The centuries-long history of Vietnam’s fine arts can be seen through ceramics, Binh said, adding that people must also study ceramics if they want to explore the Vietnamese fine arts history.

VNHM Director Nguyen Van Doan said the exhibition features nearly 80 items, 58 of which from the An Bien collection while 22 others come from the museum’s collection. Both collections will provide visitors with a comprehensive view of Vietnam’s pottery, from the early stage to its twilight, according to him.

The exhibition will run through April next year.