Roaming the streets of Hanoi, it’s not rare to bump into French architecture standing there silently in the waves of rising modern buildings of this new era. There was once when Hanoi slowly turned from a feudal city with backward architecture into a modern one under the influence of the French.
These French architecture, through ups and downs, still remain a distinct feature of Hanoi – the city with thousands of years of culture. They are not only valued in term of architectural beauty but also for their reflection of economic, political, social aspects of Hanoi during the French domination period. Thus, we had high hope that our exhibition “Charming Historic Architecture of Hanoi” would vividly show these values in order to give the public a more thorough look into French architecture right at the heart of Hanoi.
The exhibition was very successful, receiving a lot of positive feedback and love from the public. Not only joined by elders – the ones who witnessed and went through it all, we welcomed many younger people – the generation that lived through the growth of this city. Two generations with decades of age apart had bonded that day. Everyone was touched and felt a sense of pride! Everyone initially joined the exhibition just because of their love of art but left the exhibition with unsaid feelings behind every picture presented in the exhibition. Their eyes were filled with reminiscence and joy.
Younger audiences were intrigued, curious and all awed at the development and change of the city throughout the years. This reminds me of a quote of Claude Debussy: “You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.” The exhibition brought younger people to a sacred period of time, and helped elders to relive it in all its glory. We were pleased to see young people showing interest and respect for such matter.
The wholesome meaning of the exhibition and the support from the public are one of the biggest sources of motivation for us to continue with further projects in the future.