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Paintings recall memory of historic Truong Son Trail

Paintings and sketches created during the American War on the legendary Truong Son Trail will be on display at an exhibition in Hanoi open to public from April 26.

Entitled Ky Uc Truong Son (Memory of Truong Son), the exhibition will showcase more than 200 paintings and sketches by eight painters, who are former soldiers. The artists include late painters Hoang Dinh Tai, Nguyen Thanh Chau, Dao Duc, and other living ones – Chu Thao, Nguyen Duc Du, Tran Huy Oanh, Pham Luc, and Le Tri Dung.

Created during the period from 1960 to 1975, most of the artworks were made on the Truong Son Trail (also known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail). Some other works by painters Chau and Du were produced later on, based on original sketches.

Alongside the paintings, Ky Uc Truong Son will also include an installation created from hundreds of black and white photos depicting the life and battles of Vietnamese soldiers along the trail.

Diary extracts will also be on show, including those by female war martyr Duong Thi Xuan Quy, composer Vu Trong Hoi, poet Anh Ngoc, and former secretary of the Hanoi City’s Party Committee Pham Quang Nghi.

Musical manuscripts of several famous songs about the trail by composer Huy Du will also be on display. The songs, including Tren Dinh Truong Son Ta Hat (Singing Together on the Top of Truong Son Range), Tinh Em (Your Love), Dem Truong Son (Night on Truong Son), and Noi Lua Len Em (Light a Fire), are still some of the most popular patriotic songs for many Vietnamese people.

Visitors will also have chance to see letters sent from the battlefields by writer Ngo Thao and a handwritten poetry collection by poet Nguyen Thuy Kha.

During the exhibition, aiming to offer visitors valuable information about a glorious period in the nation’s history, the documentary Ky Su Truong Son Huyen Thoai (Reports about Legendary Truong Son) produced by Vietnam Television will be screened.

Co-organised by the Vincom Center for Contemporary Arts (VCCA) and the Truong Son Veterans’ Society, the exhibition is to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Truong Son - Ho Chi Minh historical trail (19/5/1959 -2019) and 44th anniversary of Vietnam’s Reunification Day (30/4/1975-2019).

“The paintings and sketches being shown in this exhibition tell the life and times of soldiers on the Truong Son Trail. Part of Truong Son’s history has been memorialised through paintings. By visiting the exhibition, visitors will have the chance to “meet” the brave soldiers and youth volunteers, who did logistics services and made roads for army troops, in every corner of this mountain range. We hope the exhibition will be a meaningful event to mark the country’s celebrations,” said writer Pham Thanh Long, representative of the Truong Son Veterans’ Society. 

The Truong Son Trail was constructed in 1959 to carry supplies to the Southern battlefield during the resistance war against the US. For 16 years, the trail played a key role in the liberation of Southern Vietnam and the country’s reunification on April 30, 1975. The trail has become a legend and a symbol of the Vietnamese people’s resilient spirit and the solidarity between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

In January, the trail was listed among 11 prominent national heritage sites by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The exhibition Ky Uc Truong Son will be open to the public until May 26. The VCCA is at Block B1 – R3, Vincom Mega Mall Royal City, 72A Nguyen Trai road, Thanh Xuan district.