The exhibition “Traces of Ancient Civilization: Reflecting Thang Long” opened on December 10 at the Temple of Literature, showcasing installation works inspired by the Thang Long Imperial Citadel.
Featuring works of various styles, the exhibition takes viewers on a journey through simple, rustic stories of land cultivation in the past, the pioneers who reclaimed the land, historical battles fought to defend the land, and festivals that embody the Vietnamese cultural identity.
These works depict historical places and relics associated with the establishment and development of Hanoi, such as the Temple of Literature, Khue Van Cac, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, One Pillar Pagoda, Turtle Tower, Huc Bridge, Dong Xuan Market, and Long Bien Bridge, among others, showcasing the distinctive cultural and artistic evolution of the ancient capital.
Visitors have the opportunity to admire artworks throughout the exhibition, which is divided into eight interconnected thematic areas: The Red River, Water Treatment, Reclamation, Cultivation, Harvesting, The Formation of Boat Wharfs, The Construction of the Capital, The Capital through the Ages, The Capital with Festivals, and The Image of Water.
One notable work is “Thang Long Dance” by sculptor Nguyen Truong Giang, created using synthetic materials. The artwork evokes emotions related to the rhythmic flow of the Red River from its source to the end.
“Flower of Wave” by artist Phan Minh Bach features three large silk paintings portraying the To Lich River, the dragon symbol of the Ly Dynasty, and the West Lake using projection technology.
Another installation piece, “Double Boat,” crafted by artist Vu Xuan Dong using copper and lacquer boxes, narrates the story of our ancestors building dikes to control the river. In contrast, “Thousand Years of Reflection” by artist Nguyen Tuan Dung utilizes ceramic, composite, LED, and acrylic materials to showcase the enduring remnants of dynasties throughout Vietnamese culture and history.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Le Xuan Kieu, Director of the Center for Cultural and Scientific Activities at the Temple of Literature, expressed that the exhibition captures the essence of Vietnam’s long history and the heritage of Thang Long-Hanoi.
Through this exhibition, visitors will witness the transcendent values of Thang Long-Hanoi culture in contemporary life, transforming the Temple of Literature into a creative hub where artists and creators can find inspiration and unleash their productivity.
Representing the nine participating artists, Vu Xuan Dong mentioned that while exploring this theme, they faced challenges in expressing their works. Ultimately, they decided that each artist would be responsible for one aspect of the exhibition. “We all share a profound love for the traditional culture of Thang Long-Hanoi, so our expression must be both genuine and meaningful,” he explained.
The exhibition will be open to the public until January 2, 2024.