Over 100 dragon-inspired artefacts showcased at Hanoi Museum

The artefacts will offer a peek into the traditional representations of dragons and how these symbols are utilized in contemporary design.


The Hanoi Museum is currently hosting an exhibition titled “Telling Dragon Stories in the Year of the Dragon”. This exhibition showcases over 100 documents, artifacts, and unique handicrafts from the museum’s collection.

The exhibition is divided into three thematic areas: Dragon images on religious and belief architecture, Dragon images in daily life, and Dragon images applied in contemporary life.

The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of traditional dragon symbols as well as the modern application of dragon symbols in design. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

The Hanoi Museum has utilized modern projection technology to bring the dragon symbol to life, showcasing its significance throughout Vietnam’s dynasties. This visual effect adds an extra layer of attraction for viewers.

One of the participating artists, Nam Chi, drew inspiration from the folk paintings of Kim Hoang and Hang Trong for his works displayed in the exhibition.

“I incorporated elements of village communal house architecture and ancient patterns found in temples into my products, blending them with the vibrant colors of folk paintings,” said Nam Chi.

Among his showcased pieces are a pair of ceramic lamps adorned with dragon imagery on their lampshades. One depicts the story of an old dragon educating his son, while the other portrays a fairy riding a dragon.

“The first story conveys the importance of education, while the second story not only highlights the dragon and fairy folklore but also represents the human desire to overcome nature by praying for favorable weather,” added Nam Chi.

Another remarkable artifact present at the exhibition is a paper fan featuring a dragon and the word “Tho” (longevity) in Han script. This symbolizes the wish for long life, prosperity, and fulfillment.

Nam Chi’s exhibition also includes paintings influenced by Hang Trong and Kim Hoang folk paintings.

“In these paintings, only certain parts of the dragon are depicted, usually the head, rather than the entire body. With my dragon paintings, I aim to convey messages based on people’s perceptions of dragons. For example, in the painting titled Long Van Khanh Hoi (Dragon Meeting Clouds), the convergence of various sacred symbols brings good omens to people. The dragon is the most significant among these symbols,” explained Nam Chi.

The exhibition is currently on display at the Hanoi Museum, located on Pham Hung Street in Hanoi.

A white glazed ceramic censer with blue dragon patterns on its body and lid, dating back to the 19th century. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

The Hanoi Museum creatively employs modern projection technology, captivating viewers with its visually stunning effects. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

A paper fan crafted by artisan Nam Chi. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times
A collection of dragon-shaped decorative objects designed by Tran Hoan. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times
Dragon statues created by artist Nguyen Van Hai. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times
A dragon head discovered at Bao An Pagoda, Gia Lam District, dating back to the 17th century. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times
Dragon boats and ancient patterns intricately carved on ivory, a 20th-century artistic masterpiece. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times