A special female collector

Nguyen Thi Nhung is one of the few female antique collectors in Vietnam. She owns 10,000 antiques and over 10,000 ancient worship paintings.

Nhung has been collecting for five years, starting with ancient stones. In five years, Nhung has amassed a collection of hundreds of thousands of those stones, some of which are ancient stones that have cost Nhung a lot of money to get.


Nhung and her friend, Alison, an American, carefully glue the stones o­nto jewelry that she gets from minority people, thus making a special jewelry, which they call Chimera.


As she said, Chimera is a word used by collectors about interference between new and old, or ancient and modern times. Nhung said viewers would see the interference in her Chimera collection.


Together with the jewelry, Nhung has other collections of clothes and everyday things of minority people. Nhung said she loved to travel around and learn about the life, culture and hear the interesting stories of different groups of people.


Nhung especially loves to collect spiritual things. She now owns a collection of over 10,000 worship paintings. Among them, there is o­ne that is 10m long, and was made between the 17th – 18th centuries. “Vietnamese people think collecting and keeping worship things would make me unlucky. But I have never felt afraid of that”, Nhung said, adding that she even has o­ne worship statute from a tomb in the Central Highlands in her bedroom.


“Just very few Vietnamese collectors love things of minority people. I am o­ne; I find such an interest in the things”. She further revealed that she would donate part of her collection to Vietnamese museums. “It is a way to protect our cultural things from being taken abroad.”


Nhung’s house is divided like a small museum. Each room is decorated with collected things in different topics: things of people in the Central Highlands; things of worship; jewelry; or everyday articles.