return icon

‘Time Masks’: 67-year-old artisan’s unique craft in Hoi An

Exhibited in the traditional-style workshop, hundreds of masks with their own identity are given the unique and exotic name – “time masks”.

A colorful space decorated in an old house on Bach Dang Street (Hoi An city, Quang Nam province) by the talented hands of Bui Quy Phong, 67.

Phong mainly paints masks that characterize boi or tuong singing (classical Vietnamese opera) with various shades and expressions of emotion.

Though having a tuong style, Phong gave them the name 'time masks’ as he explained it is possible to see the moment in an event or the life of the person who bought them.

As a lover of tuong and traditional beauty, Phong is also very concerned about traditional values that are gradually disappearing.

His family advised him to switch to a less difficult job, but he held on to the paintbrush.

The mask making process has many steps, Phong shared. It first begins with a paper mache mask and this requires skilled hands to cast them evenly and smoothly to avoid any roughness that can affect the mask’s spirit. The mask border is made of rattan or bamboo rope.

“If I make a mask out of plastic, it will be faster, more convenient, and cost less work and money on materials. However, I choose paper because it is the nation’s traditional material and environmentally friendly," he revealed.

Phong always embeds the Vietnamese soul into the masks so they are separate from those from other cultures.

There are hundreds of masks in the exhibition space but all are different.

The masks do not have eye holes. "I only paint the mask without drilling out the eyes so that it is solemnly hung in the house like a painting, instead of being a ‘toy’ worn on the face when bored and easily thrown away," explained Mr. Phong.

Phong added that he does not hollow out the eyes so he can show the soul of the mask because the eyes are the windows to the soul and people will understand what the mask wants to convey with the eyes remained.

"I do not sell masks. I sell the story of people’s fate to tourists. Each mask has a message of its own. Looking at a mask allows you to see your story has been inscribed into it...”, Mr. Phong said.

There are more than 300 masks in the shop at a price of about 300,000 VND each, with many of them sold to tourists around the world.

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Artisan Bui Quy Phong, 67.

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

The unique masks made by Mr. Phong.

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Nghệ nhân U70 vẽ mặt nạ thời gian 'độc, lạ' ở phố Hội

Ho Ca


Corporate bond market struggling with challenges

The size of the corporate bond market is estimated at some VND1,374 trillion, equivalent to 15% of GDP. The Government aims to raise this figure to 20% by 2025.

President requires greater efforts to promote value of Ngoc Linh ginseng

Ngoc Linh ginseng deserves the "National treasure" title, and it is necessary to strongly promote the role of this treasure in improving people's livelihoods, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc said .

EVFTA outpaces CPTPP in preference utilisation rate

The utilisation rate of tax incentives set out in the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) during Q1 soared by over 32%, representing a four-fold rise compared to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Refusal to issue visas to new VN passport causes problems for travel firms

The rejection of Vietnam’s new passport by some EU member countries is affecting HCM City tourism companies since their customers are unable to travel to those countries.

Vietnam set to scrap COVID quarantine for imported processed seafood

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has removed COVID-related quarantine requirements for frozen processed seafood products imported for the purpose of reprocessing for export.

HCM City seeks to boost technology transfer from universities

Huynh Kim Tuoc, managing director of Sai Gon Innovation Hub's (SiHub) Start-up Support Centre under the HCM City Department of Science and Technology, affirmed Vietnam holds tremendous potential for technology development

Vigilance urged against COVID-19 amid emergence of new epidemics

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh asked ministries, agencies and localities to maintain vigilance against COVID-19 while addressing a meeting in Hanoi on Saturday.

Vietnamese, British agencies coordinate in identifying fire victims

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK will continue to coordinate with Vietnamese and British agencies to identify victims in a blaze in Greater Manchester on May 7.

Photo contest highlighting beauty of Vietnamese islands kicks off

Professional and amateur photographers across Vietnam are encouraged to compete in a photo contest highlighting the beauty of Vietnamese Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands.

Enjoying Quang-style noodle soup in the place where it was born

Phu Chiem Village in Dien Phuong Commune, Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province, is where the popular Quang-style noodle soup was first created. And where better to taste this specialty than the place where it was born.

Exploring hidden spots on Co To Island

Aside from white sand, the blue sea and fresh air, Co To Island in Quang Ninh Province has several other beautiful spots that are worth a visit.

Vietnamese leaders extend sympathy to Cuba over oil tank explosion

Top Vietnamese leaders have sent messages of sympathy to their Cuban counterparts over severe losses caused by a massive blaze in an oil storage facility in Cuba’s province of Matanzas on August 5.

CNN reporter loves Vietnamese fish sauce

Chris Dwyer, a reporter for CNN, says he has loved Vietnamese fish sauce made in Phu Quoc (South Vietnam), though it was not easy to taste at the beginning.

Apple CEO Tim Cook appreciates Vietnam market potential

Vietnam, together with Brazil, Indonesia and India that are emerging markets, have made practical contributions to Apple’s group’s outstanding performance in the second quarter of this year, said CEO Tim Cook.

Electronics manufacturers ‘forget’ to recall or recycle used products

Large electronics manufacturers are still not willing to participate in the collecting and recycling of electronic waste to ensure a good living environment for people.