VietNamNet Bridge – Photos and videos of dragon and fairy engravings on pillars and wooden walls of Vietnamese communal temples from the 16th century to the early 19th century are being shown as part of an exhibit at the HCM City Fine Arts Museum.


Fairy tale: Vu Dieu Rong Tien (Dance of Dragons and Fairies), an engraved work (1663) at the Lien Hiep Communal Temple in Ha Noi.




The exhibition, organised by the Viet Nam University of Fine Arts and the museum, includes 102 photos featuring the architecture and engravings of more than 40 temples in northern Viet Nam.

Five short documentaries and a 3D film on topics related to the northern communal temples are also part of the exhibit.

"It's a good chance for city residents to know more about the traditional culture of the countryside in this region where few people can visit," said Ma Thanh Cao, the museum's director.

University experts and professors collected the photos and videos during a two-year research project on the values and cultural heritage of communal temples.

They visited hundreds of temples in many northern provinces, including Thai Binh, Quang Ninh, Phu Tho and Bac Ninh, and in Ha Noi.

Le Van Suu, the university's headmaster, said: "Communal temples were places for community activities, ranging from administrative work to entertainment, and played an important role in people's life. However, in modern society, their original functions have disappeared."

Dragons and fairies symbolising the nation's legendary father Lac Long Quan and mother Au Co can be found in most of the temples.

"They symbolise the country's solidarity," he said.

The exhibition, held at the Viet Nam Cultural Centre in Paris in September 2012, was warmly received by visitors and overseas Vietnamese.

The exhibition at the Fine Arts Museum at 97A Pho Duc Chinh Street in District 1 will end on June 23.