An artisan makes lion heads for traditional lion dances in Gao Village, Nam Dinh province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Popular photographer Le Bich will display his 10 collections featuring artisans making traditional toys and food for the Mid-Autumn Festival starting September 9 in downtown Hanoi.

The exhibition titled People Preserving Mid-Autumn Festival’s Soul at Kim Ngan Communal House, 42-44 Hang Bac Street, is one of several activities scheduled for the Old Quarter Mid-Autumn Festival.

The photos have been taken since 2009 of families in the capital with handicraft careers, like artisan Vu Thi Thanh Tam (residing at 79 Hang Luoc Street), who makes swans from cotton and sponge; Nguyen Van Hoa (73 Hang Than Street), who makes masks from paper; Pham Van Quang (59 Hang Quat Street), who makes moulds for mid-autumn cakes; families who make lanterns on Hang Ma Street; and Nguyen Van Manh Hung, who makes metal ship toys in Khuong Dinh, Thanh Xuan district.

Bich has also visited handicraft villages in the outskirts of Hanoi, including Bao Dap village in the northern province of Nam Dinh, which specialises in making star-shaped lanterns, and Gao village in the same province, which makes costumes for the traditional lion dance.

Bich said he spent several years working on a collection. He returned to Gao village four times before completing his collection. He has published his photo essays in various newspapers and magazines in Vietnam.

Bich said he has taken photos mostly of artisans making toys and food for the Mid-Autumn Festival in the north.

“Some handicrafts like making toys from glass have died out because no one has maintained the career anymore,” he said.

Bich, who is well-known for his photo collections of village landscapes, said his love for traditional culture took root at a young age when he helped his father draw decorative patterns on pagodas and communal houses.

When his father died, he did not take his father’s job as a lacquer painter, but he has found his own niche in traditional culture.

In the past two years, he hosted three photo exhibitions featuring handicrafts in Hanoi.

In November, he will organise another exhibition featuring embroidery artisan Vu Van Gioi in Thuong Tin district, Hanoi.-VNA