An exhibition by young Vietnamese artists who paint their memories of family meals is taking place at Ha Noi's Culture and Art Centre on Hang Buom street, featuring nearly 30 paintings of different types of food.
Visitors at the Ve Nha An Com exhibition. Photo courtesy of artist Nguyen The Son
Entitled Ve Nha An Com (Go Home for Meal), the exhibition is jointly organised by the Ha Noi Department of Culture and Sports and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Vietnam.
As the theme of the United Nations' International Youth Day 2022 is “Intergenerational solidarity,” aiming for a cohesive society where everyone works together towards sustainable development goals, Ve Nha An Com explores the concept of “family meals” through the eyes of youth as its guiding concept.
Curator Giang Kawako said: “Ve Nha An Com is a common Vietnamese phrase to remind people to come back home and share a meal with their family.
"It means a reason to decline an unwanted invitation; an invitation for someone that you would like to cook for them; and an endearing way for your family members/loved ones to show that they care about you (and your well-being).”
The artworks, created from various materials, not only showcase the food shared on the dining table but also about the stories behind these dishes from the perspectives of young artists.
Giang added: “We kindly invite you to immerse in the stories of Ve Nha An Com – as a gentle reminder and endearing common phrase in Vietnam – and engage in emerging conversations from these stories. We also hope you will share the stories between different generations in your own family, and more importantly, appreciate your moment(s) of Ve Nha An Com.”
The exhibition is divided into two sections including dishes and food trays. In the first section, visitors can see simple and familiar dishes but that contain emotional stories. Each of them manifests the love of parents for their children, for example, it could be porridge cooked by dad when his child gets sick or braised fish made by mother sent to children studying far from home.
The second section features paintings of the food trays, which express the emotions, warmth and natural bonds among family members. For example, Tet Cua Nguoi Ha Noi (Hanoians’ Lunar New Year Festivals) by painter Le Phuong Thao aims to remind viewers, especially those who are living far away from home, of the cosy moments of gathering around the food tray with other family members during Tet.
Ve Nha An Com exhibition will conclude on August 18. Entrance is free.