Van Van's Old House and Gallery
Bat Trang pottery village, Gia Lam district, VietnamGetting there
Bus: No. 47Prices
Admission price of 10,000 VND / personOpening hours
Everyday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
About 300 antiques dated from the 15 th to 19 th centuries and 300 typical contemporary pottery products, such as flower vases, lime-pots, elephant-shaped hookahs, animal statues, particularly unique decorative tiles in the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), are exhibited at Gallery Van Van, which is considered the largest private museum model in Bat Trang Ceramic Village.
Gallery Van Van is the name of a 200 year-old house located on a 400 sq.m plot in the ancient pottery village of Bat Trang in Gia Lam, Hanoi. This village has long been well-known for its pottery-making which has existed since the 15th century in the Tran Dynasty.
The gallery was established by Tran Ngoc Lam, a lawyer in Ngoc Ha, Hanoi, who became passionate to Bat Trang pottery since he first visited the village. Then, he spent seven years researching and collecting products to establish the gallery with two horizontal rows of houses and one U-shaped row. The gallery is divided into two different parts: one displays antiques with two precious 90 cm-high dragon vases from the 19th century made with special enamel. “The technique to make the vases’ enamel has been lost, so even the best artisans now can not duplicate such a beautiful glaze,” said Tran Ngoc Lam. And the other part introduces contemporary pottery products and a modern pottery kiln.
Visiting the gallery, one not only learns about the traditional craft and the way to make pottery but also can make their own products from materials available there with the guidance of an enthusiastic potter.
As a member of UNESCO Centre for researching and preserving Vietnam’s antiques, Tran Ngoc Lam said: “To promote tourism and economic development in traditional craft villages, it is necessary to pay much attention to the cultural tradition. Hence, Gallery Van Van has made its small contribution to preserving the traditional cultural quintessence of ancient Bat Trang pottery village”.