An exhibition of photographs, paintings and installations by overseas Vietnamese Vuong Pat Cam is currently on display in Paris.
20 silk paintings and 30 colour and black and white photos, from the past to the present as well as installations have helped to give visitors a taste of the atmosphere in the old quarter and the people who live there.
The artist says that all of his work reflects his love of Hanoi, which is always in his heart.
As part of the exhibition, which lasts until May 4, a number of Vietnamese students currently studying in France will perform traditional Vietnamese dances and songs and recite Vietnamese poetry.
Hanoi’s ‘Old Quarter’ of 36 streets, each closely attached to a traditional trade, made clear by the streets name, such as Hang Muoi, or Salt Street, Hang Manh, or Curtain Street, which sells bamboo blinds and Hang Bac, Silver Street, which sells silver work and other kinds of jewellery.
Hanoi is currently undergoing drastic changes daily and the Old Quarter with its “Hang” streets are also affected by development. Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and the like have mushroomed along these streets. Subsequently, only a few streets where the traditional trades remain still exist, including Hang Bac, Hang Ma, Hang Manh, Hang Chieu and Hang Dong.
The others are now engaged in other trades, for example, Hang Than Street now sells Banh com, or green rice cakes, tea and cigarettes for wedding ceremonies. Hang Vai Street now sells bamboo products and Hang Chao sells household and electric products to meet the demands of customers in the 21st century.
When strolling through the old quarter or “36 streets” of Hanoi one can appreciate the beauty as well as typical features of these streets, which should be preserved by not only the authorities but also by the local people.