The exhibition “Tran Do Pottery – Looking Back and Experimenting”, by Tran Do, one of the most famous artisans from Hanoi’s Bat Trang pottery village, opened at Van Mieu (the Temple of Literature), in Hanoi last week.
A thousand works, to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi, convey the beauty of Bat Trang’s pottery, using both traditional and innovative techniques.
They include ancient glazed styles, like the green of 11th century Vietnam, brown of the Ly dynasty, deep blue of the Mac Dynasty and multi-colors of the later Le and Nguyen Dynasty.
Born in 1957 in Bat Trang village, Tran Do was involved in the craft from the age of 10, in the 18th generation of a family with a long tradition of making ceramics.
Through a 40-year career, Tran Do has been the author of hundreds of diplomatic gifts. The most highlighted is a wine bottle that Vietnam’s Government Office offered as souvenirs for country representatives attending the ASEM5 Summit in Hanoi in 2004. A year later, Tran Do was selected to make a batch of 219 works to be sent to the US and Canada as diplomatic gifts. Of them, 10 are replicas of originals in the Fine Arts Museum and the Museum of Vietnamese History in Hanoi. Missing originals of which images remain in old books have become new replicas.
When asked about the secrets of making ceramics, Tran Do said, “Glazes are right under our feet, under every road. I will hand out the craft with my own technology and secrets to anyone who has passion for pottery.”