Tuong Binh Hiep lacquer products, which are rich in oriental artistic values, are noted everywhere in Vietnam for their quality and beauty.

The village thrived between 1980 and 1990, when many lacquer artworks won awards in Vietnam, gained international acclaim, and were exported to many countries, including Germany, France, Canada, and Japan. During that period, lacquer products were the main source of income for over 700 local households while creating thousands of jobs for people from other localities.

Lately Tuong Binh Hiep’s lacquer industry has dwindled. Many households have abandoned the craft and several large production facilities are on the verge of bankruptcy due to a lack of long-term investment. From hundreds of establishments and manufacturing facilities, Tuong Binh Hiep now has only a few dozen households and establishments involved in the trade.

In 2016, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism acknowledged Tuong Binh Hiep village’s lacquer craft as a national intangible cultural heritage. In May 2017, a project was launched to preserve and develop the craft, focusing on building new lacquer studios to reduce the environmental impact, opening new showrooms, and creating tours that allow visitors to experience the craft.

“We will work with the Binh Duong Lacquer and Sculpture Association and the Binh Duong Junior College of Fine Arts and Culture to train new lacquer artists. Many artists will be invited to create a historical record of Tuong Binh Hiep lacquer village, to help the younger generation appreciate the importance of our traditional craft,” said Tran Sy Nam, Vice chairman of the Binh Duong provincial People’s Committee.

Money is the key to the craft’s survival. The lacquer trade will only survive if the villagers can make a living from it.

“It’s of great importance to promote the business of lacquer art as well as the craft of lacquer art so we can expand the market for lacquer ware. Another important task for us is to encourage high school students to register for courses on producing lacquer art or enroll at Binh Duong Junior College of Fine Arts and Culture,” said Truong Quang Tinh, who owns Dinh Hoa lacquer studio.

Thanks to the government’s efforts, the lacquer art of Tuong Binh Hiep village might be on the verge of flourishing once more.