Research on Vietnam ceramics wins int’l award

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French researcher Béatrice Wisniewski (2nd, L) receives the "Young Talent" award from the France-Viet Nam Friendship Association. PHOTO COURTESY OR VIETNAMPLUS

A PhD thesis on ancient Vietnamese ceramics by a French researcher won the France-Viet Nam Friendship Association's “Young Talent” award on January 23.

Entitled “Vietnamese Ancient Ceramics in the First 1,000 Years of Our Era”, the paper was written by Béatrice Wisniewski from the Paris-Sorbonne University in France under the supervision of Pierre-Yves Manguin, a professor of the École française d’Extrême-Orient (French school of Far East), news website Vietnamplus reported.

It details the typical traditional features of Vietnamese ceramics from its early periods when the craft was influenced by Chinese ceramic-making techniques until the time when Vietnamese artisans mastered and improved those techniques to produce newer ceramic products such as ceramic wares with clear glaze.

Wisniewski found that the traditional handicraft had been practiced by Vietnamese people as early as 12,000-10,000 BC. The art reached its zenith in Vietnam during the Ly and Tran dynasties (11th - 14th century).

To carry out the research, Wisniewski said she visited Vietnam four times for two to eight months each trip.

She visited Duong Xa Town in the northern province of Bac Ninh to undertake archaeological research and spent some seven years writing the thesis.

Wisniewski said the ingenuity and creativity of Vietnamese artisans, along with improvements in technology, created a solid foundation from the artform.

Speaking at the award ceremony, she said she was proud that her thesis could bring the history of traditional Vietnamese ceramic products to the public.

Patrice Cosaert, chairman of the prize jury, said there were many other high quality research papers on Vietnam submitted by French scholars. One interpreted Hanoi through photos and paintings, one was about Vietnamese ca tru (ceremonial singing), and another discussed the geological concerns of Vietnamese tourism.

The Young Talent award is given annually for research performed by French scholars in art, science and other fields related to Vietnam. The prize is worth 3,000 euro (around US$4,100).

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