Thua Thien Hue: Heritage education for the younger generation
Update: Aug 09, 2023
Along with supporting the restoration of Hue heritage, experts from the German Society for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage also strive to pass on love and understanding of heritage to local people, especially the younger generation.

Mrs. Andrea Teufel introduces the Phung Tien temple to students

Discovering the royal motifs of the Nguyen Dynasty

This summer, Hue Monuments Conservation Center (HMCC) and the German Society for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (GEKE) jointly organized a heritage education program for students. In the compound of Phung Tien temple, more than 30 students played the Hue art memory game and explored the meaning of the motifs used at the temple. This is an interesting approach to Nguyen Dynasty art for young people and teenagers.

The game requires players to remember the position of cards and find their pairs with the same royal motifs. Anyone who finds the greatest number of matching pairs of cards is the winner. Excited with the cards placed on the table, the students excitedly laughed every time they drew two cards with the same pattern.

“This game is not for entertainment only. On each card, there is a decorative motif with a caption about its meaning. Thereby, it helps us better understand the meaning of royal art. It’s great to get a lot of knowledge about Nguyen Dynasty culture through this game,” said Bui Ngoc Quynh Nhu, a 9th grader at Dang Van Ngu Junior High School. Hue art memory game was created by GEKE’s experts based on 45 motifs of the Nguyen Dynasty. This is a unique and interesting game to explore and learn about the fine arts of the Nguyen Dynasty.

According to Andrea Teufel, a German expert, there are many decorative art motifs that show differences by region, time and purpose of use in Vietnamese culture. In the Nguyen Dynasty, a distinctive art style emerged. Up to now, this style still exudes the characteristics of a capital of Nguyen’s emperors in many aspects, such as artifacts, mosaics, paintings, sculptures, reliefs on buildings, art works... However, they are not only used for decoration, each motif also has a special meaning according to the concept and desire of the old people.

GEKE’s experts instructs students to play the Hue art memory game

The motifs on the game cards are also those found on the guarding screen and the gate of Phung Tien temple. After experiencing the game, children can also see these motifs in real life to better understand their value.

Last summer, the heritage education program was also jointly organized by the two above-mentioned partners for pupils and students of different ages. For primary school children, the “Paining the Heritage” training session helps them learn and discover traditional decorative motifs in the Citadel, especially the motifs at the guarding screen and main gate of the temple of Phung Tien, and paint traditional Nguyen dynasty motifs.

In the “Preservation of the Heritage” session, students of the Faculty of Architecture (College of Science - Hue University) listened to expert Andrea Teufel to introduce the process of preserving and restoring the heritage works of Phung Tien temple, with a focus on the introduction to the technology of color design of architectures with colored lime plasters and frescoed painted surfaces. Students were also instructed to practice making sample plates with different types of lime mortars.

Spreading the love with heritage

“Heritage education” for students is a program actively implemented by HMCC in recent years. This is also a goal of the GEKE’s project “Conservation, Restoration and Virtual Reconstruction of the Phung Tien temple complex with integrated training program”.

After efforts to support HMCC to preserve and restore the remaining architectures of Phung Tien temple, the GEKE has conducted education activities to introduce the value of heritage in general and Phung Tien temple in particular, in order to widely communicate the heritage conservation to pupils and students.

Although Mrs. Andrea Teufel’s main job is to preserve and partially restore the appearance of Phung Tien temple as well as other relics through the cooperation with HMCC, she always wants to spread the value of Hue heritage to local people.

Mrs. Andrea Teufel shared: “Along with supporting Hue to restore heritage buildings, the purpose of the project is to convey messages about the value of Hue heritage to local people, especially the young generation who will continue to protect these structures in the future. I hope the people of Hue will understand more about the architecture and beauty of the Citadel, the history and culture of the royal court. From there, they will understand the heritage on their own land and protect it.”

Mrs. Andrea Teufel has always wondered how to best communicate her love of heritage to young people. “It would be boring to just introduce, explain and answer questions,” said her. “They will not find it interesting and will not remember for long. My colleagues and I thought about designing the “Hue Art Memory Game”, organizing royal motif painting activities for primary school students, discovering how to make traditional lime mortar for students, or 3D modeling for students of fine arts and IT… I experienced that they were very interested and engaged. Hopefully, these interesting experiences will help them understand and remember the important points, that makes the success of the project.”

Story and photos: Cat An

Hue News - - August 8, 2023