Monday, 07/11/2022 08:14

Art exhibition glorifies the ancient citadel

Oil painting Chiều Thu Thành Cổ (Autumn Afternoon in the Ancient Citadel) by Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn. 

HÀ NỘI — An art exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Sơn Tây old fortress citadel will take place in Hà Nội’s Sơn Tây Town from November 9-23.

The exhibition, entitled Nắng Sơn Tây (Sơn Tây Sunshine), is jointly organised by the Culture, Information and Sports Centre and Fine Arts Club of Sơn Tây Town. It is part of the activities celebrating the establishment of the ancient citadel.

About 50 pieces by 40 artists from many provinces will be on display. They are diverse in content, style and materials like oil paint, lacquer, (poonah) paper or wood carving, but similar in expressing the artists’ affection for Vietnamese culture and heritage.

Many of the artworks have been created during the artists’ outdoor painting at the site of Sơn Tây Citadel, and take inspiration from the relic.

The artists paint outdoors to create artworks for Nắng Sơn Tây (Sơn Tây Sunshine) exhibition. Photo courtesy of Nguyễn Tấn Phát

According to lacquer artisan Nguyễn Tấn Phát, a member of the organisation board, Nắng Sơn Tây is the largest and most quality art exhibition ever held in Sơn Tây Town.

“It is a tribute to the land of talented people and where the only laterite citadel remains intact in Việt Nam,” he said.

He added that the event shows the cohesion of artists and art workers in an effort to meet spiritual needs, while conveying many meaningful messages about the homeland, the country, and nature.

Sơn Tây old fortress citadel is chosen as the venue for the art event due to its original historical, cultural, architectural and also environmental values.

“Located to the west of Hà Nội, the relic is considered a ‘green lung’ of Sơn Tây Town,” he said.

According to historical documents, Sơn Tây Citadel was built in 1822 during the reign of Minh Mạnh Emperor (1791-1841). The citadel is built entirely of laterite, a material that meets the durable requirements of a defensive building and is available in the locality.

Many great events related to the Nguyễn Dynasty’s fights against French colonialism in Vietnamese history took place in the citadel, showing its critical significance in sheltering the plains and midlands of Tonkin and backing the Northwest border.

Due to its important cultural, historical and unique construction techniques, the Governor General of Indochina granted it with relic statues in 1924. It was recognised as a national historical relic by the Ministry of Culture and Information (now the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) in 1994. — VNS

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