January, 27 2014 16:22:59

Exhibition highlights history of folk paintings

The exhibition is expected to help the visitors learn about the sophisticated processes involved in making these woodcut paintings. — Photo Quoc Khanh

HA NOI (VNS) — An ongoing exhibition focuses on the origin and history of the two famous genres of Vietnamese folk paintings, Dong Ho and Hang Trong.

Tourists can learn about the sophisticated processes involved in making these woodcut paintings at the exhibition, being held at the ancient house in 87 Ma May Street, a tourist attraction in the Old Quarter. Several typical paintings of each school are also on display at the venue.

Hang Trong paintings, which originated in Hang Trong and Hang Non streets in Ha Noi's Old Quarter, have been linked to the rituals of ancestor worship for over 500 years. The exhibition runs till February 16.

The paintings flourished with the development of Buddhism. Since then, people have realised that the paintings symbolise happiness and prosperity and hang them in their homes during Tet (Lunar New Year festival).

The two main themes of the paintings are worship and Tet, which focus on people and subjects, the key ones being kings, lords, the Buddha and saints, children who represent the desire to continue the family line, and the three gods symbolising longevity, prosperity and happiness.

The origins of Dong Ho painting lie in Dong Ho Village in Thuan Thanh District in the northern province of Bac Ninh. For centuries, the paintings were used as precious decorations to celebrate Tet festival. People bought the paintings to hang them on the wall for a year, and then replaced them with new ones for the next New Year.

Colour and paper used to create Dong Ho paintings are made of natural materials. The paper is made of the bark of do (poonah) tree, and the colours are made from the powder of seashells and sticky rice.

Along with the painting exhibition, the Old Quarter's Management Board, which is organizing the event, will also host traditional music programmes from February 1 to 3 at Kim Ngan Temple, 42 Hang Bac Street; Hong Lac Temple, 38 Hang Dao Street; and the Old Quarter Information Centre, 28 Hang Buom Street. — VNS

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