The long and rich history of Vietnam is visible in the various forms of arts in the country.  Vietnam arts depict the culture and innate skill and talent of its people, whether it be of installation, performance, videos, paintings and the likes.

This February of 2011, I was able to discover more of the modern arts of Viet Nam.  This is my second time in the country, but it is only now that I was able to appreciate how intricate and unique Vietnamese art is.  Despite the influence of various cultures, Vietnam fine arts has managed to maintain its character.

First stop: Handicapped Handicraftswhere working on materials such as oil, acrylic, lacquer on wood and simple paintings were beautifully displayed.  

But before we visit the shop itself for souvenirs, it is part of the tour to understand and give recognition to its workers and witness how production is made.  True to its name, the handicrafts on display were made by skilled handicapped Vietnamese.

Steps in the creation of great lacquer masterpieces were explained and demonstrated to us, which made me appreciate the true meaning of hardwork and pure talent.  It truly is innovative and sets its own style of what Vietnam arts is all about.

The shop visited is a great place to buy souvenirs and gifts for friends and loved ones, who enjoy collecting ceramics, paintings and lacquers.  Not only are the prices reasonable and cheap, they are authentic.  And what can be more authentic than this.

Day 2-  we visited the Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City.  Location of the Museum is at 97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1, HCMC, which is not far from the Ben Than Market.  A branch of the Highlands coffee at the corner is not to be missed as well, and we noticed that the building facade looks like a public school in the Philippines but with a striking and noticeable color - yellow!  This structure is described as the home for searching, treasuring and displaying fine artifacts of Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding places and it was built in the beginning of the 20th century.  

On whatever you may attribute the facade of the museum - a haunted house, a public school, or an ancestral house, what is important is what the said structure has to offer.

If you are a lover of sculptures and art installations, you will definitely love this museum.  Outside the museum, you will be greeted by interesting sculptures of various subjects and inspirations, both real an
d imaginative.

It appears that these scultpures are only a prelude of how grand and innovative the art forms displayed inside the museum are.  Wandering inside the museum costs a minimal fee, perhaps for maintenance.  By minimal fee, I mean it's less than a dollar, so it would be advisable to pay in Vietnamese dong if you are keen to your budget.

At the entrance, souvenir shops are displayed at the left side and on the right side are handbag lockers, suitable for backpackers, so they would be able move freely and comfortably while inside the museum. 

the souvenir shop

The structure is a three-storey building with various artifacts and paintings to display.  This is also a good venue for photo hobbyists and truly a venue for the various ways of how arts is exhibited and expressed. 

While wandering inside the museum, one noticeable theme is of war and agony.  Paintings are geared towards such theme that you would be able to understand the country's history and culture from a glance.  The said building was only founded in September of 1987, which makes the triumph of Vietnamese soldiers against its invaders fresh in the memory of every citizen.  Aside from its paintings, the 3rd floor is home to the best Vietnamese traditional fine articles transcending centuries, ranging from ceramics, copper, wood, carving, shell-inlaid wood, red painted and gilded wood. 

This tour itinerary is highly recommended for art-lovers and believers of the freedom of expression.  The featured venues are only a few of the many places where Vietnamese arts is displayed, as even on sidewalks, there are paintings available on display and various art installations as well.  

Under the literal meaning of fine arts, Vietnamese arts is truly at its finest.

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  1. i'll go here! when i go May!! what a great idea!:) - ysabs

  2. hi ysabs! yup you should go medyo malayo nga lang sa city itself and handicrafts pero cheap ang souvenirs...hehe