| Zeng textile products in A Luoi district (Photo: visithue.vn)
300 artisans and 63 craft villages in Hue City and nearby provinces have registered for the Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2019 which will take place from this Friday to next Thursday.
Craftsman Than Van Huy of Thanh Tien, a paper flower making village, said he has seen the revival and development of traditional craft villages since he first took part in the festival in 2013. Thanh Tien products are now exported to many countries, including the US, Japan, and South Korea.
Craftsman Than Van Huy of Thanh Tien paper flower making village instructs foreign visitors how to make paper flowers. (Photo: visithue.vn)
Although Zeng weaving from A Luoi district has been preserved, it was not until Hue Traditional Craft Festival 2015 that they became widely known. Two years later, Zeng weaving was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage and are now well-known in international markets after fashion designer Minh Hanh introduced them in Japan and France.
The festival has opened an opportunity for the Bao La Rattan and Bamboo Cooperative to bring its products to bigger markets: Hanoi, HCMC, Quang Nam, China, and Japan.
Phạm Thi Quynh Dao, deputy chief organizer, said the festival aims to promote local brands, adding: “At this year’s festival, many products will be introduced for the first time: lotus-based products created by artisans from Hue, Hanoi, HCMC, and Dong Thap province; Hue oriental medicine; and Ao dai tailoring, a time-honored craft of Hue, especially quick tailoring services.”
At each festival, a new culture and tourist product is launched. Tịnh Tâm Jewellery Making Village and Nguyen Dynasty Porcelain Museum are typical examples.
Nguyen Dang Thanh, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee and deputy chief organizer, said: “Thanks to the municipal agencies, tours to craft villages have been organized. Some have become branded tourist products like the Thanh Tien-Phu Mau tour of the folk paintings of Sinh village, tours of Thanh Tien paper flower making village, Thuy Bieu garden house and bronze casting village, and Phuoc Tich ancient village.”
The Hue Traditional Craft Festival has introduced local handicraft items abroad. Hue kites, for example, have been displayed at a kite festival in France, and wood sculpture, enameled bronze items, and Hue long dresses have been promoted at Cheongju City, South Korea.
Nguyen Van Thanh, Chairman of the Hue People’s Committee, said: “Via the festival, many production facilities and artisans have introduced their products and even signed major contracts. The festival is a good place to advertise fine art and handicraft products. Many small-scale agarwood traders have seen their incomes rise after the Hue Festival.”
A contest to select logos and package designs for seasame candy and pomelos, two Hue specialties, has been launched. 50 entries have already been received by the organizing board. The winning entries will be displayed at this year’s festival.