Pottery Road along the Red River

Published:  11:32 Thursday - November 22, 2012

Pottery Road along the Red River

To celebrate the 1,000 th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi, a ceramic mural project entitled “The Pottery Road along the Red River” proposed by painter Nguyen Thu Thuy was carried out on the cement dike wall on the city’s eastern side.

Representatives of Hanoi City and UNESCO visit the ceramic road.  
Seven years ago when witnessing the excavation at the Thang Long Citadel archaeological site and seeing with her own eyes ancient pottery pieces, Nguyen Thu Thuy was very interested in the artifacts that show the flow of history throughout the dynasties of Ly, Tran, Le and Nguyen.
She then had a chance to visit some outdoor pottery works in Germany, Italy and Spain when attending a journalist training course in Germany that made her think much about the immortality of pottery, a very familiar material, and found ways to apply it to Hanoi.

Part of the ceramic mural illustrating the pictures made by children. 

After four years of implementing the project, the visually unappealing cement dike was transformed into a public work of art with colourful pieces of ceramics, the first one of this kind in Hanoi, thanks to the great efforts of dozens of Vietnamese artists, namely Pham Viet Hong Lam, Tung Ngoc, Doan Son, Nguyen Thu Thuy, Bui Viet Doan and 15 artists from 10 countries such as Michacel Geertsen (Denmark), Dominique de Miscaut (France), Joe Breman and Jole Bennett (the US), Civitulic, Bobio and Ci.dania (Argentina), etc.

At night the ceramic road becomes sparkling in the light of thousands of traveling cars and motorbikes.
The ceramic work created by foreign artists has made contributions to creating the cultural beauty of the artwork and become the symbol of cultural co-operation among countries.
Via the project’s website, hundreds of pottery artists and painters around the world responded to the project by sending their artistic bricks or sketches that imbued the mural with  diverse artistic imprints of different lands in the world and famous Vietnamese pottery villages such as Bat Trang, Chu Dau, Phu Lang, Binh Duong, Vinh Long, Bau Truc, etc.

The ceramic road helps create a new image for Hanoi.
“The Pottery Road along the Red River” consists of 21 sections with different themes, such as upholding the artistic heritage of ancestors via the language of motifs and patterns along the flow of history from the era of Dong Son to the dynasties of Ly, Tran, Le and Nguyen.
Typical designs on brocade and architectural decorations of 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups; pottery artworks by Vietnamese and international children with the theme “Hanoi – The City for Peace”; and contemporary pottery paintings of Vietnamese and international painters.

The ceramic road helps create a new image for Hanoi.
Particularly, the images of Hanoi in the late 18th century and the early 19th century were re-produced on big pottery pillars (50-60cm in diameter and 1.8m in height), which was considered a successful experiment.
Being baked at the temperature of 1,2000C, the photos become everlasting, being able to endure the harsh weather of Hanoi. It is a piece of artwork of great significance, helping preserve the historical image of Hanoi.

The ceramic road helps create a new image for Hanoi.
On August 30, 2008 the “Pottery Road along the Red River” project was awarded the Prize “Bui Xuan Phai - For the Love of Hanoi”, a great award reserved the projects which are significant to Hanoi.
The Road is nearly 4,000m long and has an acreage of 7,000m2, stretching from An Duong to Van Kiep Roads. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest pottery road in the world.
Nguyen Thu Thuy (1st right) and foreign painters work together at a workshop in Bat Trang Village.

Source: Vietnam.vnanet.vn 

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