BackArts & Culture » Music & Art » Marvel at These Ceramic Boots Created by Legendary Bát Tràng Artisan Vũ Đức Thắng

"The Bát Tràng Ceramic Boots. An Inspiration from Italy" exhibition will feature 12 ceramic boots created by artisan Vũ Đức Thắng, who blended Italian fashion and Bát Tràng craft traditions.

Vũ Đức Thắng (1954–2016) created the pieces more than 10 years ago, but this is the first time they will be on public display, presented in co-ordination between the Italian Embassy in Hanoi and the Hồn đất Việt Bát Tràng Museum. The museum's director is Thắng's son, Vũ Khánh Tùng.

The intricate boots are on display at the Italian Cultural Center from April 10 to May 3 in a space arranged to evoke images of a Bát Tràng pottery kiln and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 

At 47.5 centimeters high and 17 centimeters wide, the shoes were recognized as the largest in Vietnam in 2013. The glazed enamel ceramics feature a variety of Vietnamese motifs including peach and orchid blossoms, carp, waves and dragons. Silkworm cocoons, wooden beads, dried lotus pods and other traditional adornments are added.

The exhibition is intended to highlight the connections between Italy and Vietnam and the similarities of their artistic traditions. For more than 50 years, Thắng was a renowned Bát Tràng artist, helping the centuries-old art form thrive in the contemporary art world. The exhibition coincides with the launch of a new website for the museum dedicated to preserving Bát Tràng ceramics.

Check out some of the pieces below via VnExpress:

Peach blossom motif covered with copper-color glaze (left) and a depiction of the moment after a legendary carp passes over a gate to become a dragon (right).

The overlapping color technique (left) and flower technique from the Lý-Trần dynasty (11th–13th centuries) with beads, dried silkworm cocoons and lotus pods (right). 

Brown background serves to highlight blooming lotus (left) and carp (right).

Flowers symbolizing Vietnam's traditional trades (left) and waves representing successive generations (right).

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