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HCM City's museums launch online exhibitions

 Ho Chi Minh City’s museums are offering online exhibitions and virtual tours as part of their effort to develop business amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ao Dai Museum in Thu Duc city has launched a special exhibition programme called Ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress) on its fanpage.

The programme offers online displays featuring long robe designs in different periods dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Special collections of long robes belonging to political, cultural and artistic stalwarts like war heroine Nguyen Thi Dinh, the first woman major general in the Vietnam People's Army, former deputy president Nguyen Thi Binh, and Trinh Thi Hoa, former director of the HCM City History Museum, are included.

The programme’s highlighted display features garments owned by theatre icons such as People’s Artists Kim Cuong and Bach Tuyet, considered gurus of cai luong (reformed opera).

Online display topics will be changed every week to help viewers learn more about Vietnamese culture and lifestyles.

“I was able to search for useful things after viewing the online displays of the Ao Dai Museum,” said Tran Nguyen Bao Duy, a 12th-grade student at the Vietnam-Australia International Secondary and High School in HCM City.

“I learned more and shared the history of the Vietnamese traditional long dress with foreign students, which raised their awareness about traditional fashion in Vietnam,” he said.

The Ao Dai Museum, owned by celebrated fashion designer Si Hoang of HCM City, opened in 2014.

The HCM City Museum of Vietnamese History in July launched online exhibitions with 3D technology, smart apps and websites.

“We wanted to expand the museum’s activities and showcases to the public during the pandemic,” said the museum’s deputy director Nguyen Khac Xuan Thi in a recent interview with local media.

“With digital technology, viewers can see connections between objects and contexts, and visualise and learn about historical periods and culture through space and time.”

"We are working to build the museum’s 18 showcase rooms as interactive areas by using modern technology applications to convey the most effective content and information,” she said.

The museum’s highlighted online exhibitions include a showcase featuring collections of Victor Thomas Holbé, a French pharmacist who worked in South Vietnam in the 1920s.

The exhibition displays ancient artefacts, paintings and sculptures from China, Japan, India and Vietnam, mostly from the late 18th and 19th centuries, made with stones, gems, ivory and ceramics.

It also introduces antiques of the Oc Eo Culture, a rich culture of the ancient kingdom of Phu Nam which was discovered in 1944 via artefacts found at sites near Ba The Mountain, now Oc Eo town in Thoai Son district in southern An Giang province.

Another exhibition features artefacts of Vietnamese history dating from the prehistoric era to the end of the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), the country's last royal family.

The exhibitions can be viewed on the website

A new online exhibition, called Vietnam Niem Tin Chien Thang (Vietnam -- Belief and Victory), featuring photos and paintings of Vietnamese people in the COVID-19 fight, was launched by the HCM City Southern Women’s Museum in June.

It displays works by artist Le Sa Long and photos from reporters in HCM City.

Guests can view the exhibition by using the museum’s website, fanpage and YouTube.

The online exhibition also appears on the websites of cultural centres in the provinces of Ca Mau and Quang Ninh.

“We hope to exhibit Vietnam Niem Tin Chien Thang at Chi Lang Park in District 1 in October,” said the museum’s female director Nguyen Thi Tham.

Tham said her museum offered for the first time exhibition rooms using a smart museum mobile app in January. Guests can install the Bao Tang PNNB app on IOS or Android devices and explore the photos on display.

The app provides guests with information about well-known historical figures, historical background and video clips, giving visitors a better understanding of the works.

“Our museum’s app acts as an electronic guide in different languages. Through the app on smartphones or tablets, the system accurately locates where visitors are standing and displays information about nearby objects in an animated micro image. It also helps to minimise the work of the tour guide while creating a modern, friendly exhibition environment,” said Tham./.