Sai Gon and Southern Vietnam in the process of reclaimation to open teritory has become where converging of diversified cultural flows due to multi-ethnic groups character of inhabitant community.
The process of devoloping inhabitant, reclaimation, land opening was also process of cultures exchange and accepting among the Viet – Hoa – Khmer – Cham ethnic groups… In this cultural flow from beginning to early 20th century, folk art has taken important position in material and moral cultural life as customs, habits, beliefs, religions of southern inhabitant. Although, folk art takes rustic, simple features, it contains deeply cultural meanings and full expressive style so southern ancient art is respective feature in the flow of vietnam art.
The special exhibition of “Ancient art in cultural heritage of Southern Vietnam” displayed about 200 objects of Ho Chi Minh city Museum, Ho Chi Minh city Fine Art museum, Museum of History – Ho Chi Minh city, Southern Women Museum and Collectors.
Special exhibition was displayed in chronological arrangement and by type of artifacts. It included:
– The ancient art artifacts of Sai Gon – Gia Dinh region (60% of exhibits).
– The ancient art objects of other localities in the South (40% of exhibits).
– Variety of Painting: paper, fabric, wood painting, pottery painting, glass tablet … with the topics related to the ancient art of the Southern Vietnam.
– Worshipping statues, variety of decorative statue, in various materials: clay, ceramic, bronze, wood, ivory, pearl …
– Photos of objects, ancient sculpture and architecture of the South: card postal, photos of monuments, objects….
* The displaying content represented two parts:
– Applied fine art in everyday life.
– Fine art in moral cultural life.
“Somebody who came Indochina could admire wood craving art very beautifully. Wood craving productions were used for decorating temple, mandarin house. There were mother-of-pearl decorations on its surface skillfully”.
P.C Richard – Note d’ethnographie Cochinchinoise -1927
“Gia Dinh, located in the South and nearly the sunshine, where most of people had special characters as loyalty, courage, knightly sense… and women was the same. There was a lot of pretty girls whose reputation was appeared in the wealthy, long-lived and clever kind. They prefered Buddhism, believed in sorcery and a lot of women became Goddess as Goddess Chua Ngoc, Goddess Chua Dong, Goddess Thuy Tinh (mars)… the Kitchen God was worshipped, two men was drawn on the right and left, in the middle was a woman…”
(Gia Dinh Thanh Thong Chi book)