Artists’ Affection for Hanoi on Display at Exhibition

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, exudes an elegant charm that is uniquely captured in the stunning paintings and art installations created by local artists. These talented individuals have the extraordinary ability to translate the enchanting essence of Hanoi into visual masterpieces, showcasing the city's understated beauty in a truly captivating way. Every stroke of the brush and every carefully curated installation tells a story, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of this vibrant city. As you admire their creations, you will be transported to a world where traditional heritage meets contemporary expression, where the past and present gracefully intertwine. Explore the hidden gems of Hanoi's art scene and discover a city that reveals itself through the creative eyes of its talented artists.

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The ongoing group exhibition titled Mach nguon or Source Circuit at the Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (Temple of Literature), Hanoi, runs until January 19.


Hanoi artist Nguyen Vi Thuy’s artwork. Photo: Le Tuan

Featuring 19 artworks and installations by Nguyen Manh Tien, Tran Van Giap, Vu Xuan Dong, and Nguyen Vi Thuy, the exhibition is the first cultural event organized by the Center for Cultural and Scientific Activities of Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam.

The exhibition reveals some of the stories and routines of the people of Hanoi, showcasing the love that Hanoi-based artists have for the capital.

Researcher Nguyen Manh Tien presents his books on Hanoi through an installation called ‘Women – Market’. Traditional Vietnamese women’s conical hats, fruit, and books are arranged on bamboo trays on the floor of the Tien Duong (Front) House of the Temple of Literature relics site, recreating the vibrant scene of a rural Hanoi market in the old days.

The artwork titled “Tree and Forest” by artist Tran Van Giap consists of a set of five lacquer paintings of trees and spring flowers on natural wooden panels, reflecting his deep inspiration from nature.


Hanoi-based researcher Nguyen Manh Tien’s art installation “Women – Market”.

Artist Vu Xuan Dong has dedicated nearly 20 years to painting To Lich River. His installation using bronze engraving and lacquer art reminds Hanoi lovers of the historic river that used to flow through the city.

The river, which runs through the capital, has played a significant role in the spiritual life of Hanoi people and was once considered the guardian of the ancient Thang Long Citadel, which is modern-day Hanoi.

The river extends 14km and passes through six districts of Hanoi, starting from Nghia Do Ward in Cau Giay District and ending at the Nhue River in Huu Hoa Commune, Thanh Tri District. It used to serve as the moat of the ancient Thang Long-Hanoi citadel. Unfortunately, the river has become heavily polluted and earned the nickname ‘dead river’.

Hanoi authorities are currently working on reviving the river, implementing a pilot project to tackle the pollution until May 2019. The paintings by artist Vu Xuan Dong depict the challenging journey to gradually restore this legendary river.


Artist Vu Xuan Dong expresses the pollution of the To Lich River by using dark colors in his artworks.

Meanwhile, artist Nguyen Vi Thuy’s installation titled ‘Vitality’ features flower-themed paintings and nature-inspired colored paper collages. With the assistance of her students, the exhibition space was quickly transformed into a vibrant flower garden.

Le Xuan Kieu, Director of the Center for Cultural and Scientific Activities of Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam, stated that this contemporary painting exhibition is interesting and marks the beginning of a series of cultural events to be held in 2024 within the thousand-year-old historical relic.

“I hope the exhibition will evoke positive emotions among viewers in the first days of the new year,” he added.


The artwork titled “Tree and Forest” by artist Tran Van Giap.