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Artist creates images with cock feathers

Update: March, 12/2012 - 10:32

by Cong Thanh

 

No cock-and-bull story: Artworks made from cock feathers are displayed in Hoi An (top). Artist Dinh Thong collects dry cock feathers to make collages of landscapes and abstracts . — VNA/VNS Photos Hoai Nam

In a crowded quarter of Hoi An market, Dinh Thong has taken the concept of art to a new level by sticking cock feathers into portraits, landscapes and abstracts.

The artist, 52, born and raised in the ancient city in central Quang Nam Province, has created his cock feather paintings since the 1980s, opening a gallery on Cua Dai Road, linking the city centre to Cua Dai beach.

This form of art has fascinated him ever since his youth 30 years ago.

"I love painting and have read a lot books on art. I initially glued a couple of feathers together as gifts for my friends when I realised their true potential. I did my first piece right after finishing high school," Thong recalled.

"It only took me a couple of hours to stick hundreds of feathers onto a still-life picture which had taken me a month to sketch," the artisan said, adding that he has yet to join an art-training course.

"While art is my passion, I still have to do odd jobs to provide for my family.

Poultry pluckings

The artisan collects dry cock feathers from poultry shops in town that he stores in plastic bags until needed.

Thong is extremely proud of being the creator of cock feather paintings, but complains he has not had much opportunity to promote his creations through the rest of the country due to a lack of funds.

"Portraits are always the most difficult work because it's not easy to capture the twinkle of eyes. It's very different from working on canvas or using water-colours. I use glue feathers on paper," Thong explained.

"It's meticulous work. I take hours to sort out hundreds of cock feathers and match them to pictures."

"I also try to use several colours of feathers, of which primary dark brown is a major. It takes me at least two days to finish a small size 40 by 60cm picture," the artisan said.

"Long oar and tail feathers are perfect for abstracts, while small feathers are superb for still-life, landscape and portrait paintings."

At present, even though the art form remains unique to the old city, it is slowly spreading its wings.

"We have included Thong artwork in the city's biggest cultural events and exhibitions nationwide. The city is currently seeking additional funding to help promote the art across the country," said Le Thi Son Ca, a staff member from the city's culture centre. — VNS

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