Sketching A Luoi to love Hue more

Update: 19/05/2023
A Luoi, a mountainous area in Thua Thien Hue, with its majestic landscape looks so peaceful, poetic, and impressive in the sketches by the artists.

Zeng weaving in A Luoi as depicted in a sketch

During a nearly-one-week-long journey through various places in A Luoi, more than 50 sketchers from the Hanoi Urban Sketching Group and artists in Hue had memorable experiences with people living by the majestic Truong Son range.

Though having sketched in many places throughout the country including Hue where they sketched about culture and heritage, the sketchers found A Luoi a “new breeze” for their feelings. 

In A Luoi, the artists directly drew abundant historical and cultural monuments. Besides primeval forests, folk constructions including community houses for ethnic minorities such as the Moong house, the Rong house, the Guoi house, etc., the local life and the cuisine of ethnic groups such as Pa Co, Ta Oi, Pa Hy, Co Tu, etc., are depicted selectively, lively and colorfully in paintings and sketches. 

Artists who took part in the sketching journey in A Luoi

Before each trip, the members of the Hanoi Urban Sketching Group are always eager to learn about the place they are going to visit. But they were so astonished to see A Luoi is granted with so much from Mother Nature: the cool weather, primeval forests, waterfalls, clean streams, friendly people, unique cuisine, diverse community architecture, special culture, etc. Thanks to that diversity, the artists had lots of interesting experiences, giving rise to many high-quality sketches. 

“What impresses me most is the unique Zeng weaving. Sophisticated products with beautiful patterns demonstrate Ta Oi women’s skillfulness, patience, and meticulousness,” said architect Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, head of the sketching group with excitement.

Traditional houses in A Luoi as depicted in sketches by the artists 

Thanh Thuy had led the Hanoi Urban Sketching Group to many places in the country, including Hue. According to Thanh Thuy, the Hue heritage, both tangible and intangible, is diverse and well protected. However, people, especially those in a remote area like A Luoi, need to be shown how to preserve it.

During the time in Hue, now and then, Thanh Thuy felt a little bit sorry to see very few ancient traditional houses left in A Luoi. 

“We hope our sketches and our activities in A Luoi contribute to conserving and promoting the value of Hue heritage in general and the history, culture and tradition of A Luoi in particular,” said Thanh Thuy.

According to Ms. Dinh Thi Hoai Trai, Director of Hue Museum of Fine Arts, the organizer of the sketching journey, all those traditional cultural beauties are present in the artists’ works. The sketchers try to reproduce a diverse colorful cultural picture of A Luoi, including its architecture, customs, daily activities, etc.

According to Ms. Trai, in the tendency of urbanization today, this cultural heritage is falling into oblivion, even disappearing. The sketches by the members of the group therefore contribute to honoring, conserving and promoting the traditional cultural values of A Luoi. The museum will keep and display over 160 sketches by the group to the public. 

“Seeds” for promoting the beauty of Hue

According to Thanh Thuy, the Ha Noi Urban Sketching Group wishes to return to Hue. Through their journeys they discovered many things, understood Hue and loved Hue more, hence respect the cultural heritage. They wish Hue will develop, but still keeps its identity.

It is their feelings and enthusiasm that urges the artists to share their experiences at a beautiful and rich-in-culture land like Hue ancient capital, or the highland A Luoi. The artists are of different ages and many of them are students. Imbued with traditional values from an early time, they become “seeds” for promoting the beauty of Hue.

Story: Nhat Minh - Photos: BTMT

Source: Hue News - - May 19, 2023