Not only does Hanoia impress its viewers with their collection bearing the youthful Hanoia 2.0 imprint, but they also consistently dive deeper into the artistic aspect of lacquer. Recently, Hanoia contributed to the exhibition “Substance” – an art exhibition which paid tribute to the beauty and value of Vietnamese women. The exhibition took place at the Italian Culture Center in Hanoi – Casa Italia from April 22 to May 7.” 

“Substance” is a multimedia exhibition conceived by the talented artist PSI and introduced, organized, and participated in by the Bat Trang Museum. The exhibition features portraits of prominent women from many fields who have contributed to society and represent different generations. The works lead viewers through honest stories, moving from the characters’ lives to the sublimation in their careers, or to their own distinctive spiritual experiences.

At the exhibition, Hanoia presented two works of art, crafted based on the identities of two women: Mrs. Nguyen Thi Nhung – founding partner of Openasia Group, and Thao Nhi Le – first runner-up of Miss Universe Vietnam 2022. The two characters represent two generations and their unique stories and personal views, which are delicately portrayed through Hanoia’s use of lacquer language. 

Narrate each character's story through traditional lacquer colors

The upper bust of Thao Nhi Le is considered one of the few works with a large cross-section in this exhibition, honoring the “Red River’s” effect – one of Hanoia’s unique lacquer techniques that involves many layers and a block array. This technique can only bring out the full beauty when presented on a large enough surface. The Red River, also known as the Phu Sa effect, is inspired by the colors of the Cai River under the flamboyant sunlight. Through this effect, Hanoia aims to portray the femininity of the work and express the inner outpouring of an inspiring youthful spirit like that of Thao Nhi Le.

Unlike the bust of Thao Nhi Le, the work of Nguyen Thi Nhung’s hands seems fragile and feeble, in stark contrast to the energetic red and orange colors on the lacquer. Choosing to use strong colors and creating an orange spillover effect from the palm of her hand is Hanoia’s way of describing the image of a delicate woman who always carries a fire of enthusiasm and a gracious heart.

The artisan’s tactful hands bring’s life to creative dreams

The chest and hands are natural shapes with rough edges and uneven surfaces. These surfaces pose a significant challenge for lacquerers. How is it possible to preserve the genuineness of each body contours on the lacquer layers and create the harmony of the work at the same time?

Hanoia entrusted this challenging task to Mr. Vo Dong Ho, the master of the artisans in Hanoia’s workshop. With more than 35 years of experience in the lacquer profession, Mr. Dong Ho has managed to retain gracefully and softly from the threads of his fingers to the hollows of his waist after many layers of cutting, lining, coloring and polishing. After being satisfied with the effects for the final craftsman version, the Hanoia’s design team also had to 3D test on 10 different effects as well as experimented with various color arrangements before executing on the main template.

If Red River uses a highly intricate sanding technique on a background of layers of dyed silver leaf, revealing an impressive body block, then the technique of gradual fading combined with two vibrant hues gives the hands a sense of consistency and focusing on articulating ideas. With their keen eyes, careful hands, and precision, Mr. Vo Dong Ho and Hanoia’s lacquerware artisans have contributed to creating remarkable works of art showcased at the recent “Substance” exhibition.

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