Sensations of Vietnam

23 August 2013

Tissus & Artisans du Monde is a project which has also taken me to the places of my origins. My mother is Vietnamese and she was born in Hanoi. I have felt a growing affection for Vietnam, its atmosphere, lights, and such various and enchanting landscapes: green rice fields, mountain uplands from North to South, the legendary Halong Bay, wide rivers and spectacular delta…

Vietnam is very rich of exceptional craft skills such as lacquer, pottery, rattan basketry and of course silk spinning and weaving. It is also a land where many ethnic groups live together, fifty-four all together, spread across the whole country: Thai, Hmong, Dao, Lolo… All of them are keeping their outstanding ancestral textile traditions alive and they proudly wear the colours of their tribe.

For this travel, I have focused on the North of the country.

Hanoi, the contrasted capital which still preserves buildings with a colonial charm and sways between elegance and severity, melancholic in Winter and lively in Summer.

Sapa, at the Chinese border in the North of the country, a town of highlander people with changing and misty landscapes, an area of wild and rugged beauty.

– And finally Thai Binh, a province located at a two-hours’ drive from Hanoi in the green countryside, between endless paddy fields and quiet village life. It is another face of Vietnam.

It was in the midst of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Suspended time, where every Vietnamese goes home to reunite with his family for great feasts and celebrations at the pagoda. In the North, it was rather cold and humid in this season. This hazy atmosphere has given my trip to Hanoi, Thai Binh and Sapa mountains a solemn and mysterious “je-ne-sais-quoi”.

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Hanoi the melancholic
Sapa in the clouds
Thai Binh’s countryside