Fishing village culture vividly reflected through lens of young people

By DA NANG Today / DA NANG Today
May 31, 2022, 11:24 [GMT+7]

Since the start of 2022, young people living and studying in Da Nang have launched two projects related to the history, culture and architecture of the Da Nang fishing village. By showing novelty, originality and vividness, the projects are well complimented by the public and highly appreciated by many cultural experts. On the other hand, the birth of the projects also affirms that the traditional fishing village culture has always been significantly attractive for young people nowadays.

Visitors are seen admiring artworks at the exhibition ‘Reaching out to Sea’ and reading the on-display books. Photo: Xuan Dung
Visitors are seen admiring artworks at the exhibition ‘Reaching out to Sea’ and reading the on-display books. Photo: Xuan Dung

Promoting cultural values of fishing villages

Recently, a group of students from Da Nang University of Architecture collaborated with the Museum of Da Nang to organise an arts exhibition ‘Reaching out to Sea’, in order to ‘reproduce’ and spread the historical value, traditional culture and architectural characteristics of fishing villages in the city.

On display at the exhibition were 2 books, namely ‘The roof of the fishing village's communal house’ and ‘Memoirs of a fishing village’, 15 drawings and 20 sketches about the fishing village.

In particular, the release of the 2 books, both bilingual in English - Vietnamese, has been jointly implemented by a team of nearly 350 lecturers and students from the university for 3 years, in order to contribute to preserving and spreading the cultural values of the fishing village.

Ms. Phan Tran Kieu Trang, the Director of the Community Engagement Learning Centre under the Da Nang University of Architecture – the project coordinator, said that with the aforementioned publications, the students spent much time strolling along the Da Nang coast and travelling to 16 fishing villages to collect data.

In detail, ‘The roof of the fishing village's communal house’ shows the tangible values of the typical architectural works of the fishing village whilst ‘Memoirs of a fishing village’ narrates the stories of fishermen in the process of heading out to sea for fishing.

The publications faithfully reproduce the whole scene, from fishing to customs and fishermen's life associated with the typical beliefs of each fishing village.

The project once again affirms that the fishing village culture has a great attraction for young people, especially those who are passionate about culture and history.

Nguyen Thanh Thuy, a student majoring in Foreign Languages at the Da Nang University of Architecture, said that she was born and raised in the highlands of Phu Yen Province, far from the sea, so the fishing village has a great appeal to he.

Through the project, she had the chance go to new lands, meet hospitable and generous people, and take an insight into the typical culture and lifestyle of the fishing village.

Director of Da Nang Museum Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien said that the sketch works and book publications area of high quality, vivid, and also outstandingly, the language is attractive and easy to understand.

The meaningful message of promoting community-based cultural values and bringing the voice of the community into the content of the publications and artworks on display is what makes the exhibition so impressive, valuable and rich in humanity.

Storytelling with creative arts

Previously, in February, 2022, ‘Da Nang Tui’ (My Da Nang) group, in collaboration with the British Council, organised A cultural and art exhibition themed ‘Lenh Denh’ (Driftin out at Sea) with the aim of spreading Da Nang’s traditional cultural values, with the display of 9 sets of works by young artists who are passionate about fine arts and technologies.

To spread the time-honoured cultural value of the Da Nang fishing village, the organisers use both traditional and modern arts forms to recreate the life at sea of fishermen.

Mr. Tran Viet Huy, the art curator of the exhibition, said that the group of 60 young people spent nearly 6 months preparing for the re-enactment of the memories of a historical period attached with fishing village culture in Da Nang.

In order to diversify the viewer's experience and make the traditional story fresh and inspiring, the team uses a variety of art forms such as watercolour, pop-up books, pixel art, holograms, and augmented reality technology.

During 9 days of running, from February 19 to 27, the exhibition attracted more than 2,100 people, most of whom were university and college students across the city.

As a visitor to the exhibition, Nguyen Thi Trinh, the Deputy Director of the Da Nang Fine Arts Museum Nguyen Thi Trinh hailed this unique event for effectively combining both cultural and artistic elements, made by enthusiastic, talented and creative young people.

In particular, the works were created in a youthful and profound contemporary art forms, making viewers love Da Nang more, understand more about the beautiful coastal city from ancient times until now.

In addition, the young people are also very creative when creating experience spaces for visitors in which they can learn about the traditional crafts such as knitting nets and painting coracles.

“The application of digital technology to the display of artworks deployed by ‘Da Nang Tui’ group is very suitable for the current trend, especially attracting the great attention of young people. This is also the age group that many arts units focus on in order to contribute to creating aesthetic orientations and positive values for society," said Trinh.

Reporting by XUAN DUNG - Translating by A.THU