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Traditional folk art to be encouraged

Update: March, 18/2013 - 08:46
A Dong Ho painting entitled Mouse Wedding. Dong Ho painting is recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage. The woodcut print-style originated in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

BAC NINH (VNS)— A high-ranking leader has said that local artisans should be honoured and encouraged to promote traditional Dong Ho folk painting preservation and development.

Speaking at a ceremony on Saturday to recognise the art as part of the national intangible cultural heritage, National Assembly Vice-Chairman Uong Chu Luu lauded the historic and time-honoured cultural vales of Bac Ninh Province and praised the province's achievements in recent years.

He also asked the province and its people to use Dong Ho folk painting to promote tradition, boost social economy development and raise the collective sense of responsibility to preserve the national intangible cultural heritage.

Dong Ho painting is a form of woodcut prints originating from Song Ho Commune, Thuan Thanh District in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

Traditionally, craftsmen used raw materials from nature, making sheets of printing paper from the bark of the do tree and creating colours from earth, burnt bamboo leaves and sea shells.

Dong Ho painting is used to reflect a wide range of themes, especially good luck wishes, historical figures, and folk allegories. In the past it was part of the essential decorations in each Vietnamese house during the traditional Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.

According to villagers, the painting dates back to the 11th century during the Ly dynasty (1009-1225). However, researchers believe the craft began under the rule of the Le dynasty (1428-1788).

After printing, the finished picture is covered with a layer of rice paste to strengthen the durability of its illustration and colours and afterwards dried under the sun.

As the traditional craft has become less popular over time, efforts have been made to preserve it, with Nguyen Dang Che and Nguyen Huu Sam, two of the few remaining experienced craftsmen of the village, establishing their own Dong Ho painting centres.

The recognition is expected to help preserve and develop the printing art while increasing the public's awareness of traditional cultural values.

An art programme entitled Visiting Quan Ho Land 2013 was held at the recognition ceremony at the Kinh Bac Culture Centre.

The programme has been held annually since 2009 when the provincial quan ho (love duet) singing was recognised by UNESCO as world intangible cultural heritage.

It aims to introduce and make quan ho value popular to correspond with the National Tourism Year on Song Hong (Red River) Delta 2013. — VNS


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