Typical features in the visual art of Nguyen Lord period
Update: 27/04/2015 09:30:58
In the approach to the South, Nguyen Hoang Lord was not simply the general designated by Le king, but a person of great dream opening a significant change in Vietnamese history.

If the conflict between the Trinhs and the Nguyens did unavoidably cause the civil war, this event left a special mark in the Vietnamese nation establishment. Without the urge of building a counterpoise with the Tonkin (the North) after the separation, the Southern expansion would not be that quick.

            For this reason, the particularity of an art development period is not so simple as reflecting the aesthetics of the time. Actually, it reflects the history, the mood, the desire and the hope of its creators.

            We should by no mean divide the Vietnamese aesthetic history in a sided way, and then classify the art period of  Nguyen Lords into that of the Le-Trinh time unless we want to baselessly ignore an over-two century phase of an independent and distinctive cultural-aesthetic region; and to cause a severe misunderstanding that with the Le-Trinh aesthetics, only one style is shared in both the Cochinchina (the South) and Tonkin.

            By investigating and analyzing the rare evidences of Nguyen Lord period in the Central of Vietnam (the achievement of which could be seen in the book “Mỹ thuật thời Chúa Nguyễn (Dẫn liệu từ di sản lăng mộ)-The Arts of the Nguyen Lords' time- as seen on tombs and mausoleums", we generalize the remarkable features on the visual art of the period as follows:

- The aesthetics of Nguyen Lord period-a basic inheritance from the key elements of Le-Trinh art

- The change and adaptation in the visual art of Nguyen Lord period in Cochinchina contained many features inheriting the traditions of the Tonkin.

- The aesthetics of Nguyen Lord period reflects the norms and solemnity of the Confucius space.

- The aesthetics of Nguyen Lord period reflects the Buddhist belief of the then Vietnamese.

- The visual art of Nguyen Lord period clearly leaves the Non-Vietnamese vestiges in the manufacture.

- The visual art of Nguyen Lord period suggests the newness, and gives remarkable impacts on that of Nguyen dynasty.

The above-mentioned features show the typical mood of the rulers and the masses of the time that is to inherit the tradition of Cochinchina for not losing the former identities, to create the new particularities for their confirming the independence with the Le-Trinh, and to adapt as well as acculturate with the native cultural and artistic values in the new land.

The regeneration of Nguyen Lord period's visual art on Trúcchỉ art (paper art made from bamboo pulp) is our daring experiment, which is hoped to meet your appreciation.

The bamboo is a friendly image with Vietnamese village and culture. Honoring the aesthetic achievement of the ancients on the Trúcchỉ material brings us the closeness. Furthermore, the color of this kind of paper creates the necessary harmony in expressing the so-called "time color" in the "Bygone acculturation".

The compatibility in connecting the traditional beauties and modern materials so that the charming historical-cultural heritages could be seen is what we are looking for. We do hope that the past values could be well transported in the modern society, and that they could be accompanied with the creativeness of later generations. Those are what we think our great honor and gratitude to the formers.

Nguyen Huu Thong
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