B OO K R E V I E W: A R T S O F V I E T N A M Ann Proctor – TAASA Review June 2013


This article was originally found in the June 2013 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 22, Issue 2, Page 28).

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carefully analyses the development of the arts throughout the dynastic period, drawing out the distinctive ability of Vietnamese artists and artisans to adapt, innovate and incorporate changing belief systems and motifs over this 1,000 year span.

The first chapter, dealing with art and history of the pre-dynastic period, sets the ground for an understanding of these later developments. Arts of Viet Nam 1009-1945 Kerry Nguyen-Long The Gioi Publishers, Hà Noi, 2013 RRP AUS$55, softcover, 316 pages Until the publication of this volume, no book in English has dealt so completely with the development of Vietnamese art during the Vietnamese dynastic periods from 1009 to1945.

Admittedly there have been books dealing with separate categories of artistic production such as ceramics and painting, as well as catalogues accompanying specific exhibitions, but none have so comprehensively presented the development of the art of the majority Kinh Vietnamese. Nguyen-Long, who is a contributing editor to the journal Arts of Asia, has drawn on many Vietnamese writings previously inaccessible to the English speaker; on recent archaeological research including that carried out at the Hà Noi citadel, and on her own extensive research and writings...