Photographic Campaign: Study of the Collection

Between 2017 and 2019, I have completed the Study of the Vietnamese Prints and Posters from the Kwok On Collection, at the Orient Museum, in Lisbon, under the scientific guidance of Inês Ponte. The research was carried out during two distinct stages: Study of the Collection (October 2017/November 2018) and a Research Trip to the local of production and collecting of the objects (January/February 2019). Both stages were supported by the Orient Foundation and converged in the analysis and documentation of 360 objects from the Vietnamese prints and posters nucleus of the Kwok On Collection.

The first step of the initial stage was the direct observation of the prints and posters, focused on distinguishing aspects relative to different printing practices, as well as specificities of the analysed objects. It was followed by a photographic campaign covering the entire nucleus, which permitted: an illustrated presentation of the Study of the Vietnamese Prints and Posters from the Kwok On Collection and the structure of a visual basis for future studies. Associated with the inventory updated during the study, the visual portfolio constituted a valuable instrument for the research trip serving as an instrument for the recognition of practices and used materials, as well as to discuss the themes and motifs that became ascertained and the ones that remained undetermined during the first stage of research. A specialized bibliographic consultation of literature was undertaken, a web consultation on exhibitions and new publications on the analysed subject matters, as well as continued communication with informants, which enabled the contextualization of themes, the comprehension of written text on the analysed objects and a better understanding of its graphic motifs.

Photographic Campaign: Research Trip

The study of the objects was followed by a research trip to Vietnam which enabled a more profound study of a group of significant dimensions of the analysed objects, going beyond the limitations of observation and the comparison between existing prints in the collection, as well as to rectify existing gaps in the first part of the investigation, conducted entirely from Lisbon. The use of a visual portfolio, a graphic diary and the registration in photography and video format, converged in the exploration of visual methodologies during research. Through the observation of Tết (the lunar new year’s celebration in Vietnam) in present time, there was a gathering of information on the rituals of preparation and moments of the festival using drawing, photography or filming on the site, according to what became more appropriate with the informants, safeguarding different sensibilities in the visited locations. This gathering of information clarified questions that arose during the first reports and allowed a better understanding on distinct printmaking methods as well as the social and political context of their practice. It also enabled the gathering of data relative to the production of the traditional paper giy dó, the understanding of the production repertoires and stylistic differences in active workshops and also to problematize the specialized literature consulted up until that date. 

Graphic Diary

The systematization of the gathered information of the diverse sources permitted to obtain unknown information in the inventory of the objects on 348 prints (woodcuts mainly) and 12 posters. Through both stages of the research, the study of collection and the field trip, information in the digital inventory system (INARTE) was completed on the following fields: Designation; Title; Description; Number of copies; Technique; Theme/ Subject. This work gave rise to an illustrated study comprising the following topics: Glossary; General Presentation of the Vietnamese Print and Poster’s Nucleus of the Kwok On Collection; Methodology; Characterization of the nucleus through typologies, series and thematic groups; Data on collecting through collector, date and local; Uses and themes; Phased incorporation of themes; Data on the textual dimension of the objects; Printing differences: Uses and techniques associated to the nucleus through centres of production; Present Themes: Thematic axis through lines of printing and uses.