Vietnamese girl wins Grand Prize at international design contest

The Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam has honored a Vietnamese girl with the Grand Prize at the 2nd International Furoshiki Design Contest for Students held in Japan on September 2010.

The design work of Phan Khanh Trang who wins the Grand Prize at the 2nd International Furoshiki Design Contest for Students held in Japan on September 2010

The annual International Furoshiki Design Contest for Students aims to encourage design students to create designs with Furoshiki, a wrapping cloth of Japan. The design theme for the 2nd contest was “Evoking a fusion of the student’s country with Japan.”

Furoshiki is a square piece of cloth used for various purposes such as wrapping and carrying items of different shapes. The etymology of furoshiki goes back to the Edo Period (1603-1868), when public bathhouses became widely accessible. The tradition was then handed down as a quintessential aspect of Japanese lifestyle through generations.

Public campaigns (3R) in recent years to protect the global environment and reevaluate Japanese culture caused people to rediscover Furoshiki, resulting in new ideas involving creativity beyond its traditional usage. The advantage of Furoshiki is that it can be re-used. By using Furoshiki, people can reduce the use of  plastic bags and wrapping paper and thereby saving natural resources and the environment.

217 entries from countries like Germany, Indonesia, Australia, Canada, USA, Brazil, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam were submitted. This is the first time Vietnam has participated in the contest.The juries selected one winner of the Grand Prize, three winners for Prize for Excellence, ten winners for Merit Prize and ten winners for Honorable Mention.

Five students from Vietnam were awarded prizes, including the Grand Prize whose design work will be officially produced for sale in art museums in Japan from 2011.

The awards ceremony will be held on March 3 at the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, at 27 Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi accompanied with an exhibition on Furoshiki at the same venue.

An exhibition on Furoshiki will also open from March3 - 10, 2011 to display Furoshiki samples and objects, mainly from Japan but some from Vietnam, which were awarded prizes in the recent international contest. 

Two Japanese experts, Ms. Handa Hiroki and Ms. Yamamoto Yoko, members of the Furoshiki Study Group, will introduce this Japanese technique for daily use through a workshop on March 2-3 at the Viet Duc High School and the Hanoi University in Hanoi. They will complete a series of workshops in Hue, Hoi An, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City by March 14 to help Vietnamese audiences learn a variety of wrapping styles with Furoshiki.

Admission at all venues will be free.

By Uyen Phuong

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