Private house exhibits worshipping rice and salt jars of Central Highlands
The house on Hai Trieu street was built expressly as an exhibition place. Luan himself designed it and chose the building materials. The 500-square-meter house is divided into several exhibition spaces for items of different ages and origins. Some items some took him quite a long time to locate, and some were donated by other collectors.
Luan said, “Thanh Le pottery is one of the most prestigious brand names for worshipping rice and salt jars. I have been collecting them since 2017. There are several that are one of a kind, which will obviously be lost if I don’t preserve them carefully.” Luan continued, “Bien Hoa and Lai Thieu pottery also have typical Central Highlands features painted on their worshipping rice and salt jars, like the buffalo sacrifice festival, the gong festival, animal hunting, and the T’rung musical instrument. Such jars are charming and cannot be found elsewhere in Vietnam.”
Luan has ceramic items from the Dong Son era 4,000 years ago to the Ly, Tran, and Le feudal dynasties. Hundreds of worshiping jars were made in Bien Hoa, Lai Thieu, Chau O, Quang Duc, and Go Sanh, all famous Vietnamese pottery villages. His collection also includes other types of antiquities decorated with Central Highlands cultural motifs. Luan said he gets a deep insight into Vietnam’s history through ceramics, which, to him are not just decorative but are reflections of the life, culture, and customs of their makers.
Dang Gia Duan, Deputy Director of the Dak Lak provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, says Luan’s museum of Central Highlands culture is unique, boasting items that cannot be seen at bigger museums.
Duan said, “We have encouraged Luan to make his exhibition house a tourist destination. We plan to officially inaugurate it during the Buon Ma Thuot coffee festival in 2021. Local authorities intend to help Luan make this house a professional museum with donations and funding from inside and outside Vietnam.”
A passion for ceramic collection grew in Luan when he went looking for ceramic home decorations. The more he learned about pottery, the more pottery fascinated him, so he delved deeply into their creation, use, and preservation.
With support from his family, especially his wife, Luan has dedicated himself to collecting ceramic antiquities. He has another big collection on display in Ho Chi Minh City. He belongs to several local and national antiquity collecting clubs. Whenever he hears about an unusual pottery product, he drops everything to go and check it out.
Luan said he is very worried about illegal antiquity trading involving with. “I want to collect all types of worshiping rice and salt jars from all over Vietnam and put them in this exhibition house to teach future generations and the world about the uniqueness and variety of Central Highlands culture,” said Luan.
Luan loves everything about the Central Highlands. He also collects pictures, books, and photos of the Central Highlands past and present. Many were given to him by their owners in the hope that the art of the Central Highlands might live forever.
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