Dip into Hanoi's art scene
Since the restrictions imposed during the ‘social realism’ period have been lifted, Vietnamese artists have begun to explore new forms of expression. Derivative art based upon European styles, particularly French Impressionism and Surrealism, is now waning in favour of a distinctly Vietnamese genre fusing Asian techniques with western styles.
Want to delve deep into Vietnamese art?
For visitors interested in art history and development, we can prepare a tour that will start with a tour of Hanoi’s Fine Arts Museum with an expert guide. That will be followed by visits to galleries and current exhibitions and take in some of the public art and statuary, culminating with lunch in a convenient restaurant in the company of a couple of Hanoi artists.
Are you interested in an overview?
If you’re just interested in knowing a bit more about the Vietnamese art scene, we’ll take you to the stilt house of a famous Vietnamese artist to view his antique collection and restoration work, and the home of another talented painter who specialises in lacquer and oil painting.
The next stop will be at a warehouse showroom-cum-workshop that deals copies of traditional wooden statuary and furniture that are difficult to distinguish from the real thing – replicas, or fakes, depending on your point of view. Finally, you’ll meet another artist who brush-paints Vietnamese traditional calligraphy.
Want to make a day of it?
If you want to include lunch, and continue into the afternoon, we’ll drive to Bat Trang craft village on the outskirts of Hanoi, famous for hand-decorated ceramics. It’s a popular destination, and a tourist trap, but we head for the lower part of the village to visit the workshops. Few tourists venture to this area, so it’s easy to stroll around the lanes of traditional artisans’ cottages and watch the potters and designers at work – you’ll be able to try your hand it you want to! Afterwards, the crowds in the upper village will have dwindles, and you’ll be able to by some of the finished products if you wish.
Want to buy souvenirs and gifts?
You’ll have a guide to assist you to make purchases. In keeping with our responsible tourism policy, he or she will help you to agree on a price that is fair to both sides. You needn’t worry about being pestered to buy or being ‘ripped off’ – we give the artists a gratuity for their time, and we don’t accept any commission or receive any incentives from galleries or workshops.