Join me as I reflect on my recent trip to Vietnam and rediscover some of the country’s most inspiring forms of art.
Vietnam, with its exciting atmosphere and rustic beauty, is a destination that this traveler simply could not miss.
Influenced by years of war, colonisation and globalisation, part of the country’s appeal is its fascinating cultural diversity.
As you’d expect, Vietnam’s unique cultural blend of ‘east-meets-west’ extends to the local art scene.
Winding through the maze of ancient streets, and weaving in and out of tiny galleries, I had the pleasure of discovering some of the most inspiring types of art the country has to offer.
Here were my five favourites:
1. Silk painting
High-quality coloured silk is used as a canvas for oil or acrylic paint. The result is a soft, delicate and poetic effect.
2. Woodblock prints Black or coloured paint, made from organic material, is applied to wood and pressed onto paper to produce a bold and lively outcome.
Although they previously used Chinese characters, along with chữ nôm, Vietnamese artists now use the Roman-character based quốc ngữ. I don’t understand a word of it, but it’s aesthetically pleasing all the same!
4. Traditional folk painting/street art
Based on the concept of don tuyen binh do, these simple line drawings and paintings turn everyday things into bright and engaging images.
5. Propaganda posters
Accessible everywhere, these clever and iconic designs reflect the spirit of revolution, political ideology, and patriotic nationalism.
If you’ve ever thought about visiting Vietnam, take my advice and go for it!
With its bustling whirl of sights, sounds and activity, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Victoria Hall is an English-born writer and illustrator with a passion for anything gothic, eccentric or quirky. She is the creator of three picture books for children, Penny Prickles at Coogee Beach, Eggy Peggy Has Lost Her Leggy and The Fairy Beasts. For more info, check out Victoria’s bio here.