Anna Belleforte

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final thoughts in Vietnam

Posted by Anna Belleforte on February 14, 2019 at 4:45 AM

This trip was an opportunity to observe a country in development towards urbanism and a culture rich in symbolism and artistic expression. And one that celebrates this. I saw turtles (symbolic of longevity) everywhere in sculpture form, often as feet to support important things. In Hue I witnessed amazing technical skill in ‘painting’ with silk threads. In an exhibition in HCMC the sale of an artwork is celebrated with a big red bow (instead of a tiny red dot) – how lovely is that? I also loved the stylistic simplicity of the ‘cloud’ sculptures on the roof ridges of many temples, and the dogs that roamed and slept freely there to find the peace they needed. At night when there’s a full moon, burning candles in paper lanterns floated on the Perfume River towards the sea. These are prayers set out by individuals and monks at the pagodas. It creates a beautiful line of orange dots in slow procession. Though the chaotic urbanism can be hard to take at times, there are always moments of respite. This is what I take with me.

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