Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Legendary and lively zodiac animals are on display at an exhibition of work by Vũ Đình Tuấn and Nguyễn Thế Hùng.
The exhibition ‘Twelve Zodiac Animals’ kicks off today in Hà Nội, presenting two collections of works in two different styles.
While Tuấn works with woodprints, Hùng’s medium is lacquer on canvas.
“Painting zodiac animals is always a big challenge for artists because they are real animals [except the dragon] but still imaginary and legendary with spiritual roles,” said Tuấn.
“The goal is not painting them as they look like in reality,” Tuấn said. “We try to make them become symbols of the year. For example, the mouse is a symbol of intelligence and the pig is a symbol of prosperity and satiety.”
It took 10 years for Tuấn to finish the collection of 12 paintings. They reflect his life, with ups and downs, he said.
“No matter how we describe the zodiac animals in the artwork, we always want to send a message of wishing people prosperity and happiness,” he said.
When Hùng was working on the collection, he did not paint the zodiac animals as sacred symbols. He thought instead of animals that are familiar to most people. However, he still follows the style of creating fantasy symbols and patterns in the paintings.
“Dog, cat, buffalo, rooster, mouse, goat and pig are animals that we often see in daily life,” Hùng said. “Dragon is the only zodiac animal that doesn’t exist. However it’s not strange because it appears at many temples, pagodas and cultural activities of the Vietnamese people." — VNS