An Hoi incense burners
15:58 | 17/05/2013

VGP - Despite the changes of over 200 years, the bronze casting of incense burners has been preserved and developed by the people of An Hoi Village in Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Illustration photo

The craft village of An Hoi is now on Phan Huy Ich Street, Ward 12, Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City. Over the years, many famous bronze casting villages in the city such as Cho Quan and Phu Lam disappeared and only exist in the minds of the locals.

Yet, the craft in An Hoi Village has been maintained and developed by the villagers. Here, there are about 10 workshops casting bronze incense burners which are sold mainly in the market in South Viet Nam.

During our trip to the village, we visited the workshop of Tran Van Thang, also called Hai Thang whose family has five generations engaged in the craft. “During prosperous times, bronze incense burners of Hoi An Village were sold in six provinces of the south and were also exported to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. At present, the craft is not in demand as much as in the past but I will try my best to preserve the craft,” Thang said.

He then introduced us to his son who was concentrating on his work and said: “It is the fifth generation of my family who will continue preserving and developing the bronze casting of incense burners.” During the last Tet Holiday, the workshop of Hai Thang sold more than 2,000 sets of incense burners. The price of a set is from VND 4-20 million, depending on its size.

Bronze incense burner making consist of many meticulous phases that must be done manually, such as mixing materials, making moulds, moulding, processing and carving. To make beautiful and durable products, the artisans must master all the techniques and it also depends on the experiences and secrets of each family.

According to artisan, Hai Thang, it is not difficult to distinguish between An Hoi incense burners and mass-produced ones. The mass-produced burners are green-gold and turn black after several years of using. Meanwhile, An Hoi incense burners will be golden and shining if they are cleansed. Furthermore, An Hoi incense burners are made in the ancient style so they are sought much after by the people in the south.

In recent years, the authorities  of Ho Chi Minh City and locals have made joint efforts to seek markets for the products, making a contribution to preserving and developing the traditional craft./.

(Viet Nam Pictorial) 


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