ECNU museum exhibits Vietnamese folk paintings


To usher in International Museum Day on May 18, the ECNU Museum at Minghang campus library, is holding an exhibition to display Dong Ho Vietnamese folk paintings as part of a The Belt and Road Sino-Vietnamese Cultural Exchanges event.

Dong Ho folk painting, or Vietnamese woodblock print, is a distinct type of Vietnamese folk art that originates from Dong Ho Village in Bac Ninh provinceIt also belongs to the world cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO, as some of the iconic works of world cultures.

ECNU vice president Wang Rongming addresses at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Nguyen Thanh Mai (L) and ECNU vice president Dai Liyi (R) inaugurate the exhibition.

In the past, Dong Ho folk paintings were among the “must-have” things for worship and decoration purposes during the traditional lunar New Year festival, or Tet in, as it is called in Vietnam. To help visitors get a better understanding of the unique and authentic Vietnamese tradition, the museum invited the Vietnamese consul-general in Shanghai, Ms. Nguyen Thanh Mai, to inaugurate the exhibition. She announced her appreciation for ECNU’s efforts to  support international cooperation, promoting intangible world cultural heritages, and participating in China-proposed One Belt One Road Initiative.

The exhibition displays 40 paintings, featuring a variety of topics from traditional husbandry, worship, blessings, and stories. Two particular significant stories told there are the Mouse Wedding and Journey to the West. To further explore and engage visitors to the differences between Chinese and Vietnamese traditional art, exposing their unique similarities and differences, China’s Taohuawu wood-cutting New Year prints and tools are also showcased at the exhibition, in order to give the audience an understanding of how the prints were made in traditional China.

Performers form China and Vietnam sing songs at the ceremony.

The exhibition opened at 9 a.m. on May 18. A series of other activities were staged simultaneously, including Vietnamese folk dances, Dong Ho folk painting performances, and rubbing paintings, Nguyen Youguo, an inheritor of the Dong Ho painting art, made his public appearance at 2 p.m.

Dong Ho folk paintings are among the “must-have” things for worship and decoration purposes during the traditional lunar New Year festival in Vietnam.

Nguyen Youguo (R2) demonstrates how to make Dong Ho folk paintings at the spot.

Originally founded in 1952, the ECNU Museum is known for its vast amount of collected materials and artifacts, of which the museum’s categorical display-structure is divided into six sub-museums in history, ancient coins, biology, geography, folk arts and education images. Apart from the Dong Ho painting exhibition, the museum also put on some other free events for all of the May 18 visitors.

One of the museum’s focal points is the geography display’s 4-D experience of geographical natural disasters, located in Experiment Building C of the Department of Geography at the Minhang campus. This exhibit is recommended for the students and faculty that wish to explore the nature and effects of natural disasters, through a new and improved high-tech world of digital innovation; moreover, the geography sub-museum contains more than 10,000 pieces of rare mineral specimens, that gives the audience a glimpse into the mysterious life of past organisms on earth. This new sub-museum, designed to be a comprehensive platform for geography education, research, experience, and collection and display is currently under-construction; but the Intelligent Geography Innovation Education Lab, Natural Disaster 4-D Experiment Room and Geography Development History Gallery are already open to the public.

The geography sub-museum will add climate, soil, water and biological specimens to its exhibit at a later date, the museum contributors even hope to display more profound geological rock samples; open a library data center and a 3-D printing room; and install state-of-art technologies, which include planar holographic screen, 270-degree holographic display, and 3-D screens without glasses. All of this will be driven through multi-media display systems that aim to spark student interests in geography.

The history and ancient coins sub-museums usually only operate on Saturdays, though they opened their doors to the public between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. for the International Museum Day.

On the 10th floor of the University Library at the Zhongbei Campus , the two sub-museums were established in 1952, home to 5,000-strong relics that are highly-equipped with materials and data. The biology sub-museum on the 2nd floor of the Experiment Building B at Minhang campus, has a collection of about 200,000 specimens. Though it normally requires visitors to make a reservation, it stayed open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 18.  

Another outstanding feature of this year’s holiday is that the digital museum - inaugurated by the ECNU Museum on 2014 - also officially opened to the public on May 18, and everyone could have access to all of the materials and information by logging onto the website at: HTTP://DIGITALMUSEUM.ECNU.EDU.CN. The online museum has, so far, stored more than 10,000 pictures of historic relics, ancient coins, and specimens of wild plants and animals gathered by the ECNU Museum. The practice of free-sharing photo collections is said to be an unprecedented activity in Chinese and global university museums.  

Website links about publicity films of the ECNU Museum are as follows:

1. Trailer of Dong Ho Folk Painting Exhibition


2 Stories behind specimens in the biology sub-museum


3 Exhibitions at the ancient coins and history sub-museums





East China Normal University