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Mar 19, 2024 / 21:28

Narrative Hang Trong paintings on display in Hanoi

The collection of Hang Trong narrative paintings tells stories of heroic women, as well as the history and lifestyle of Hanoi in the old days.

As many as 40 Hang Trong folk paintings are displayed at the Vietnamese Women's Museum.

What makes the exhibition different from others is the 40 narrative paintings, which depict ten stories popular in Vietnamese culture and belong to the private collection of researcher Phan Ngoc Khue, a leading scholar of this painting school. These paintings date back to the 19th century.

It's a powerful message about the preservation and promotion of Hang Trong paintings, a precious heritage of the Vietnamese people and one of the unique art forms that originated in Hanoi.

 Art collector Phan Ngoc Khue speaks at the exhibition's opening ceremony on March 18. Photo: The Hanoi Times

The paintings were mainly made by artisan families in Hanoi's Hang Trong Street during the school's heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, although it first appeared in the 16th century.

After being printed by a xylograph, the artisans would add more layers of paper behind the painting to make the strokes and lines more distinct.

The painting school is considered one of refinement with smooth and delicate lines.

There are several types of Hang Trong folk paintings, such as paintings of worship, paintings of daily activities, natural landscapes, narrative art, and decorative paintings for the Lunar New Year.

 Visitors contemplate the paintings on display. Photo: The Hanoi Times

Worship paintings are the most popular, while sequential narrative paintings depict ancient tales from the past. Many exhibitions of worship paintings have been held before, but this is the first time visitors have had the chance to see such a large number of narrative paintings in one place.

On this occasion, art collector Phan Ngoc Khue donated a collection of paintings telling stories of heroic women to the museum, conveying the mythical spirit of the story and the author's idea of praising females who are loyal, respectful, chaste and virtuous. Through the paintings, the authors promoted the cultivation of beautiful personalities, which should be nurtured and built in every society, including today's. The series of paintings helps the public to look back at the beautiful examples of the ancients in the cultural heritage of the nation.

Speaking at the exhibition, Nguyen Thi Tuyet, director of the Vietnamese Women's Museum, said that folk paintings are in danger of being lost in today's life. She hoped the exhibition would help the public better understand and feel the beauty and value of a famous school of painting in Hanoi.

The exhibition will run until March 31 at the museum at 36 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi.

 Sequential narrative paintings on display.