“Tra ART” honors Shan tea

“Tra ART”, a multi-sensory exhibition of snow Shan tea, wild tea trees which are hundreds of years old and grown by ethnic minorities in the northern province of Ha Giang, has been opened at French Cultural Center L'Espace in Hanoi.

"tra art" honors shan tea hinh 0

Paris-based Vietnamese photographer Nguyen Thi Tuong Van, who came up with the idea and created the Tra ART project, brings together five excellent artists from five different fields to give the audience an unprecedented experience. They are animator Nguyen Quynh Phuong, 3D artist Marcus Bowler, painter Gérald Gorridge, sculptor Tran Thu Hang, and musician Ngo Hong Quang.

Tra ART is an experience that will gently awaken five senses and bring viewers to the world of snow Shan tea through different forms of art.

The audience also has the opportunity to witness a unique performance by dance artist Mai Anh with background music written by Ngo Hong Quang while enjoying premium snow Shan tea.

According to Van, she was inspired by a beautiful and unique small pack of tea called Shan Viet, which she found at a market in Paris.

Having researched and tasted the tea for six months, she asked some of her artistic friends to join the project. The artists went to Cao Bo Commune in Vi Xuyen District of Ha Giang Province last September and spent a week there meeting snow Shan tea makers.

Together they built up a portfolio of recordings and photos of the ancient tea trees and local people they met throughout their trips, which were then used as material for the exhibition.

Ha Giang is one of the oldest snow Shan tea areas in Vietnam. These wild tea trees grow at an altitude of 800-1,800 meters, and most of them are over 300 years old with huge trunks having a diameter of several meters.

Coated with a white or grey color, tender tea leaves are likened to snow flowers, thus named ‘snow Shan tea’ with Shan meaning ‘mountain’.

Visiting Ha Giang Province, tourists can climb century-old tea trees to pick young tender tea leaves with local residents. The next job is to roast tea leaves manually, which cannot be done by inexperienced tea makers. After roasting, tea leaves will shrink into fish-hook shapes but their snow spots and pure flavors are maintained.

“Tra ART” lasts until July 9.

Saigon Times

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