Vietnamese ceramics refers to pottery designed or produced in Vietnam. Vietnamese pottery and ceramics has a long history spanning back to thousands of years ago, including long before Chinese domination, as archeological evidence supports.
Much of Vietnamese pottery and ceramics after the Chinese-domination era was largely influenced by Chinese ceramics, but has developed over time to be distinctly Vietnamese. Vietnamese potters combined indigenous and Chinese elements. They also experimented with both original and individual styles as well as incorporated features from other cultures, such as Cambodia, India and Champa.
Vietnamese pottery and ceramics were an essential part of the trade between Vietnam and its neighbors during feudalistic times, throughout many dynasties.
The Cát Tiên archaeological site in south Vietnam is site located in Cát Tiên National Park. Accidentally discovered in 1985, this site ranges from Quảng Ngãi Commune to Đức Phổ Commune, with the main archaeological artefacts concentrating in Quảng Ngãi, Cát Tiên District, Lâm Đồng Province, southern Tây Nguyên. The unknown civilization which developed this site inhabited it between the 4th century and 9th centuries CE. A number of ceramic ware was found in this site.
Bát Tràng porcelain and pottery is a type of ceramics made in the village of Bát Tràng, in the suburban outskirts of Hanoi. The village is located in an area rich in clay suitable for making fine ceramic. Bát Tràng ceramics are considered some of the best known porcelain products in Vietnam besides those of Chu Đậu, Đồng Nai, Phu Lang, and Ninh Thuận. The history of china making in this village can be traced back as far as the 14th century CE. During the past centuries, Bát Tràng china products have travelled in European trading ships to all parts of the world.
Due to the so-called Nanban trade in the 16th-17th century, fragments of Vietnamese ceramic were found in a northern part of Kyūshū island. Among them was a wooden plate with character showing the date 1330 on it. Whether the Japanese went to Vietnam or Vietnamese traders came to Japan or if it all went through China is not quite clear. Vietnamese history records showed that when Lord Nguyễn Hoàng founded Hội An port at the beginning of the 17th century, hundreds of Japanese residents were already there.
One of the more famous items is An'nan ware (安南), which was exported to Japan and used in Japanese tea ceremony although the high-footed bowls were originally used for food. The bowls had an everted rim, high foot, were underglazed with cobalt floral decorations, lappets above base, unglazed stacking rings in well and were brown washed on the base. The diameters can range from 9 to 15 centimetres. They were produced in the 16th and 17th century.
Hội An wreck
The Hội An wreck lies 22 miles off the coast of central Vietnam in the South China Sea. The ship was carrying a large cargo of Vietnamese ceramics from the mid- to late-15th century. The provenance of the pieces was known to be the kilns of the Red River Delta (such as Chu Đậu) because excavations in the region had been ongoing since their discovery in 1983. The only pieces remaining at the kiln sites were wasters (pieces that had fused, collapsed or exploded in the firing process). Intact examples of the wares produced were rare, since all were exported. When the wreck was found there was excitement among collectors and archaeologists, for it promised the first cargo consisting solely of Vietnamese wares.
In 1996 over 250,000 intact examples of Vietnamese ceramic were recovered. 10% of unique ware was kept by the government for national museums, while the rest was allowed to be auctioned off to pay for recovery costs.
While ceramic ware in the traditional is still being produced and enjoys popularity, increasingly modern ceramics are produced for export. Centres of ceramic production include Lái Thiêu in Southern Vietnam.
One of the noteworthy examples of modern ceramic art is the Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, which is affixed on the wall of the dyke system of Hanoi. With a length of about 4 km, the Ceramic Road is one of the major projects that were developed on the occasion of the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi.
- The Evolution of Vietnamese Ceramics : ThingsAsian
- Birmingham Museum of Art (2010). Birmingham Museum of Art : guide to the collection. [Birmingham, Ala]: Birmingham Museum of Art. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-904832-77-5.
- Khánh Chương Trà̂n Gó̂m Việt Nam - 2001 Page 165 "In the late 1950s, a similar kind of pottery was manufactured at Lái Thiêu but with a graver tone of enamel named ... In terms of ornamental style, Lái Thiêu pottery is not much different from Bien Hôa ceramics but it has its own beauty, grave ..."
- Vietnam Fine Arts Museum - Page 104 Bảo tàng mỹ thuật Việt Nam - 2000 "Another sort of Ceramics was produced by Phủ Lãng, Quế Quyển ovens (northern Vietnam), Bảo Vinh (central Vietnam), Lái Thiêu ( southern Vietnam). They might have come into being very early and were rather well developed in this ...
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- Chu'o'ng, Tran Kánh (2005). Vietnamese Ceramics. Hanoi: Thế Giới Publishers. p. 97.
- Young, Carol (1982). Vietnamese Ceramics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Media related to Ceramics of Vietnam at Wikimedia Commons