Forty years of Belgian-Vietnamese diplomatic relationships

Photo exhibition and multimedia project

On the 11th October 2013, it will be 40 years exactly since Belgium and Vietnam officially established diplomatic relations. That day in 1973, Belgium, in fact opened an embassy in Hanoi. Four years later, 11th October 1977 the two countries signed a "Framework for Economic, Industrial and Technical Agreement." To celebrate these anniversaries, two projects - a photographic exhibition by Clement Huet and the installation of an interactive computer terminal - will available from the 11th October 2013 in the room devoted to Vietnam arts.

'Through the lens of a collector' - photo exhibition

This small exhibition of ancient photos on glass plates comes from the archives of collector Clement Huet (Brussels, 1874-1951) and will be displayed in the Vietnam room. In 1912, Clement Huet moved to Vietnam, where he created his own import-export company in Hanoi. He was fascinated by the Vietnamese civilisation and culture and quickly became an avid collector and amateur archaeologist. The photos on display were taken during his many trips to the heart of the country. In 1938, after his final return to Belgium, he formed excellent contacts with the Royal Museums of Art and History. In 1952, the museums were able to acquire around 3,000 objects from his ceramic and bronze collection, as well as Vietnamese artefacts.

'The original Journey' - multimedia project 

This multimedia project allows visitors to travel with 25 Vietnamese collective objects to their country of origin. This is made possible by computer software featuring photos and texts regarding certain statues, temples, sites and excavation campaigns in Vietnam and is used to reconstruct the historical and current context of these 25 items. In addition, five short films will explain the production process of ceramics, Dong- Ho prints, bell casts and even a funeral ritual.

This project was conceivable through financial support from the Vietnam-Belgium Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a partner of the museum, who in 2010 notably made it possible to acquire of a rare pair of ear ornaments from The Sa Huynh Culture.