Propaganda Art

Propaganda is commonly a form of political influence, but has also been used for campaigns to promote public health and safety. Vietnam's propaganda art truly came to light during the American War. Take note that most of the propaganda posters sold in Hanoi's Old Quarter are reproductions; the real stuff will drain your bank account and come with no guarantee of authenticity. Still, it's hard not to appreciate the unique artistic style of the Soviet block geometry and pastel colours of the retro socialist campaigns emblazoned with messages that cover everything from public health to American War-era nationalism. Le Lam, arguably Vietnam's most famous propaganda artist, lives in Hanoi.
 

There are many stores in Hanoi that sell propaganda art products such as reproduction posters that rally the population to 'Grow more coffee', 'Breed more pigs for a Vietnam with full stomachs' and 'Save the country, save the youth'. Following closely behind the establishment of the Indochina Communist Party and the Viet Minh, propaganda art began its rise to prominence in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, after declaring independence from the French in 1954, promoted the concept of nationalism in literature and art to help Vietnam achieve sovereignty. It wasn't until the American War that Vietnamese propaganda art truly came to light. Trumpeting sentiments from the Central Committee, Vietnamese propaganda art has a very hip, retro feel and can be found on items from old posters to handbags and t-shirts.

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Mekong Quilts Hanoi

Mekong Quilts is  a social enterprise specializing in high quality, hand crafted quilts  and accessories. The Indo-Chine inspired quilt range uses patchwork, piecing and intricate stitch detail to create a contemporary aesthetic. We use only the highest quality silks and cottons, along with beautiful vintage ethnic embroideries in our products.

Mekong Plus Hanoi

Our accessories range combines the use of sustainable and local raw materials such as bamboo, water hyacinth and papier-mache with traditional hand craftsmanship to create innovative designs such as Bamboo bikes and gift items.

Bamboo bikes Mekong Plus Hanoi

Mekong Quilts was established in 2001 as an income generation project under the umbrella of parent NGO, Mekong Plus. Quilting is labour intensive and requires minimum investment; a perfect employment activity. HCMC-based dentist Thanh Truong recognised these qualities and through her passion for quilts, began the programme with just 35 women, selling the quilts ‘Tupperware style’.

Mekong Plus Hanoi

Today Mekong Quilts engages over 340 women in full time employment in communities northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Long My in the Mekong Delta and Rumdoul, Cambodia. All profits from products sold are returned to the villages both directly in the form of salaries, and indirectly in funding for community development projects.

 

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Tan My Embroidery

A storied Hanoian tradition with roots in fashion, design and houseware, Tan My Embroidery is one of Hanoi's oldest shops that produce embroidered goods. From pillow cases, clothes, linens, table cloths and pyjamas, you'll find everything you need to outfit you and your home. Choose from stylish patterns, classic designs and bright colours that add a touch of boldness to your life. Tan My Embroidery also operates Hanoi's Tan My Design and Tan My Cafe, both located across the street.

Three generations have been involved in Tan My Embroidery, which grew out of the trying years of war in Vietnam. Mother of Huong, the founder of Tan My, embroidered loved ones' messages on handkerchiefs to be given to soldiers who then carried the items with them throughout the war. Today all embroidery at Tan My is done by hand by over 500 skilled artisans, which ensures you're purchasing the finest quality work. Visit the shop at 66 Hang Gai in central Hanoi.

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