Đông Hồ folk print exhibition opens in Hà Nội

November 01, 2019 - 08:24

An exhibition of Đông Hồ folk prints has opened at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum.


An artisan (in traditional dress) shows visitors Đông Hồ prints. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

HÀ NỘI — An exhibition of Đông Hồ folk prints has opened at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum.

The Tranh Dân Gian Đông Hồ-Xưa và Nay (Đông Hồ Folk Printing-Past and Present) exhibition has been organised by the northern province of Bắc Ninh’s People’s Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The event aims to promote the aesthetic and cultural beauty of Đông Hồ woodblock prints – a traditional craft originating from Đông Hồ Village, Thuận Thành District, Bắc Ninh Province, about 40km northeast of Hà Nội.

It highlights the importance of a collaborative effort by all stakeholders, including the community, to fuel the vitality of such an intangible cultural heritage, the organisers said at the opening ceremony yesterday.

Visitors will have the chance to admire traditional and contemporary Đông Hồ prints, books of traditional folk prints collected at home and abroad, and a documentary film about the process of creating them.

They can also talk to artisans from Bắc Ninh Province and watch them create the prints, which are available to buy.


Viewers admire old artefacts of Đông Hồ printing exhibited at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng

The prints, including restored and new creations by contemporary artisans, feature traditional culture and life of people through popular images such as a brood of chickens, a herd of pigs that symbolises prosperity, a chubby child and national heroes, among others. 

“The products reflect all aspects of traditional Vietnamese life, particularly in rural areas, through the style and and colours,” said Nguyễn Hữu Quả, an artisan from Bắc Ninh Province who is exhibiting at the event.

Qủa said he hoped the exhibition would give people more understanding more about the traditional craft and increase their awareness on the importance of preserving a national intangible cultural heritage.

Nguyễn Văn Phong, vice chairman of Bắc Ninh People's Committee, said: “This exhibition aims to introduce the unique features and characteristics of Đông Hồ folk printing. The public will see old-style prints and patterns and those created using new styles and techniques collected by artisans' families, such as Nguyễn Đăng Chế, Nguyễn Hữu Quả, Nguyễn Thị Oanh and Nguyễn Đăng San, as well as the collection held by the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum,” said Phong.

With a tradition of almost 400 years, the unique artistic value of the prints has earned them a wide reputation at home and abroad. The art was recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage that needed protection in 2012 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Authorities in Bắc Ninh Province are intensifying efforts to secure UNESCO recognition for the art after a proposal compiled by the provincial People’s Committee has been ratified by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The exhibition will run until January 31 on Nguyễn Thái Học Street. — VNS