Old Quarter to host activities honouring poonah paper

April 23, 2019 - 08:45
Folk paintings printed on dó (poonah) paper and how the paper is made will be introduced through the programme Vietnamese Poohnah Paper – Past and Present.


Tourists will have a chance to learn how to make dó paper. — Photo courtesy of Zó Group

HÀ NỘI — Folk paintings printed on (poonah) paper and how the paper is made will be introduced through the programme Vietnamese Poohnah Paper – Past and Present.

The programme will run from April 24 to May 25 at Kim Ngân Temple, 42-44 Hàng Bạc Street, Hà Nội.

The Old Quarter Management Board has organised the event to give residents and tourists a chance to learn more about poonah paper, products made from the paper, the way they have been made and tools used to make the images.

Many artisans from poonah-making villages and experts will take part in the event.

“Poonah paper is made from tree bark, it looks thin but it’s durable,” said artisan Cao Ngọc Hân.

“Through various steps, a finished piece of paper can last for centuries. That makes it unique in comparison with other types of paper.”

“Among various traditional trades of the Vietnamese people, paper-making is an age-old trade and supplies paper for different purposes such as printing folk paintings (Đông Hồ and Hàng Trống genres), printing books and writing calligraphy.”

“This kind of paper was also used to make sắc phong (king's certificates to confer titles on people) during feudal reigns.”


Poohnah paper is used to make Hàng Trống folk paintings and other products such as envelopes, artworks and calligraphic works. — Photo baomoi.com

Trần Thị Thúy Lan, vice chairwoman of the Old Quarter Management Board, said the paper has a strong attachment to the life and society of Vietnamese people. It has been the material used to preserve the cultural and historical values for thousands of years.

“More and more artists and painters are using it in their work,” Lan said.

“That’s why we want to help people learn more about it.”

The introduction of poonah paper is one of the cultural activities held to celebrate Liberation Day (April 30) and May Day (May 1).

Exhibitions and fashion shows by Hà Nội-based designers will take place from April 27 to May 1 at the mural area on Phùng Hưng Street. With the theme Quintessence of Vietnamese Crafts, the event will introduce various trades of Hà Nội such as silk from Vạn Phúc Village, conical hats of Chuông Village, fans of Chàng Sơn Village, lacquerware of Hạ Thái Village and pottery of Bát Tràng Village.

Traditional music will be performed every night in the area.

An exhibition of paintings by Nguyễn Quốc Thái will take place at the Hà Nội Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Centre, 50 Đào Duy Từ Street, from April 28 to May 9. With the theme War and Peace, the exhibition displays posters and paintings on historical events, soldiers, people and landscapes. — VNS