Workshop features Hang Trong folk paintings
Update: Oct 31, 2018
A workshop featuring Hang Trong folk paintings, a genre of traditional Vietnamese woodblocks by artisans in Ha Noi, will open next week in HCM City.   

Photo for illustration

The event, Tranh Hang Trong (Hang Trong Folk Paintings), will feature talks by artisan Le Dinh Nghien, who is recognised as the last artist to paint by woodblocks in Hang Trong, an ancient street by Sword Lake in downtown Ha Noi.

It will also include art collector Le Hai Duc and cultural researcher Trinh Thu Trang.

Hang Trong paintings have a long history of more than 500 years.

The art has been linked to the rituals of ancestor worship.

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

The paintings generally have two main themes: worship and Lunar New Year.

Key subjects are always kings, lords, Buddha, saints and children, while three gods symbolising longevity, prosperity and happiness are also featured.

The use of colours is a key difference between Hang Trong paintings and other forms of folk painting like Dong Ho paintings in Bac Ninh Province.

Hang Trong paintings have vivid colours of yellow, blue, green, orange and lotus pink, whereas the colours in Dong Ho paintings are more muted.

Tet paintings depict a joyful life and hang on the walls of houses. 

Worship paintings pay tribute to tigers, horses and kings and are often displayed in pagodas or shrines in the north.

The colours of these paintings may have faded over time, but they are still an important part of worship rituals.

Each Hang Trong painting is made by hand. A picture with clean lines, a balanced layout, and cheerful colours meets the standards.

The more sophisticated the technology is, the more valuable the picture.

The workshop is organised by The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in co-operation with its partners.

The event will begin at 9:30am on November 10 at The Factory Contemporary Arts Center at 15 Nguyen U Di Street in District 2.