Youth seeking to revive traditional woodblock craft village

A project aiming to revive the art of woodblock printing has recently been launched by local artisans in collaboration with the Centre for Research, Development, and Application of Vietnamese Craft Village Products, running until the end of June.

The project "Thanh Lieu Woodblock Prints - The Journey to Revive a Craft Village", includes a series of activities such as the workshop on woodblock carving and printing techniques.

In the creative space of Bach Nghe group, an initiative aimed at preserving national heritage and local craft villages, participants have the opportunity to directly experience the process of creating, cutting and printing with woodblocks -- from selecting the wood, preparing a block, carving it, inking and then printing with it -- all under the instruction of local master artisans.

It takes a craftsman from three to five days to complete a carving. However, some take several months, depending on the length of the text, and the theme requested.

Local artisans say the craft requires great care in every step, from selecting wood to carving, preparing ink, rolling it onto the woodblocks, and printing on poonah paper to ensure the print quality.

The creative cultural space of Bach Nghe group was established by the Center for Research, Development, and Application of Vietnamese Craft Village Products, under the leadership of Nguyen Quy Duc, who has been involved with traditional craft villages for 17 years.

Over hundreds of years, Thanh Lieu Village cut and printed again and again thousands of sets of scriptures, books and seals, including the printing woodblocks of the Nguyen Dynasty recognised by UNESCO as the first World Documentary Heritage in Vietnam in 2009.

Events within the project have attracted many people, particularly the young, and even foreigners who are interested in the craft and its legacy./.