1,000 years of ceramics on display in Vietnam metro

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An exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City is showcasing 260 Vietnamese ceramics made over a 1,000-year period.

The artifacts at the "1,000 Years of Vietnamese Ceramics" exhibition were made during the Ly, Tran, the Later Le, Mac, Le Trung Hung (the restored Le), and Nguyen dynasties. The works include bowls, ewers, vases, dishes, jars, statutes, incense burners. Each is described thoroughly on placards accompanying the exhibits.

The period of the Ly and Tran dynasties from the 11th to 14th century, was known as the golden era for Vietnamese ceramics as production expanded and access to new materials allowed for more diversified art.

Buddhist decorations featuring lotuses and fairies exemplify the characteristics of the Ly Dynasty ceramics on show. This period was also famous for jade-glazed bowls and tea pots, and other glazed ceramics.

The Le, the Mac and Le Trung Hung dynasties from 15th to 18th century saw the development of white-and-blue glazed ceramic and crockery, with big jars, vases, small bowls and incense burners becoming particularly popular.

This was the first period when the names of craftsmen and their ceramic facilities appeared on Vietnamese ceramic works. Many professional ceramic centers were then established for export including the Hop Le, Bat Trang and Tho Ha handicraft villages. Bat Trang is currently Vietnam's most famous ceramic producing area.

During the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal lords to rule Vietnam in the 19th and 20th century, ceramics developed strongly in southern region, with Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) Lai Thieu in Binh Duong Province and Bien Hoa in Dong Nai Province emerging as major craft centers.

The exhibition aims to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Hanoi (1010-2010). The special exhibition, which opened on May 28, will remain open to public at the HCMC Museum at 65 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1 until December 28, 2010.

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