Dong Ho painting

painting - Dong Ho painting
Photograph by duwagison Flickr.

Điệp paper is obtained in almost the same way as dó paper, the bark of dó tree, which normally is Dong Ho painting grown in Tuyen Quang Province, is soaked in water for moths, then mixed with powders of seashells (sò điệp), which painting is the origin of the paper s name, and glutinous rice to make sheets of paper. The last stage of making Dong Ho painting is printing, the woodblock is applied with paint and pressed on a sheet of paper like a Video painting stamp, the process is repeated with different colours until the craftsman is satisfied with the painting. According to the villagers, the making of Dong Ho painting was dated back to the 11th century during the reign of the Lý Dynasty while researchers propose that craftsmen began to print pictures in Dong Ho village during the rule of Lê Kính Tông (1600–1619) of the Lê Dynasty. Traditionally, Dong Ho painting was an essential element in each Vietnamese family during the Tết holiday. There are several efforts in order to preserve this traditional art. Elements of everyday life are well integrated in Dong Ho painting so that it can be used to express the thoughts and wishes of people. Because Dong Ho paintings are mainly bought and displayed on the occasion of Tết, contents of pictures are often humorous, optimist with many bright and powerful colours like red, yellow or white. Good luck wish: Gà đàn Good luck wish: Lợn âm dương Folk allegory: Thầy đồ Cóc Everyday activities: Đấu vật Good luck wish: Cá chép Historical figure: Bà Triệu Social commentary: Hái dừa Social commentary: Đánh ghen Dong Ho painting is the exclusive product of the Dong Ho village, a craft village located on the left bank of the Đuống River in Bac Ninh Province, about 35 km from Hanoi. In printing pictures, Dong Ho craftmen use a special type of paper named điệp paper (giấy điệp).

However, the art of making Dong Ho pictures is always considered a symbol of traditional culture and aesthetic value of Vietnam. Dong Ho painting is considered a fine reflection of the traditional aesthetic value, social philosophies and humanitarian desires as spring approaches. Dong Ho painting (Vietnamese: Tranh Đông Hồ or Tranh làng Hồ), full name Dong Ho folk woodcut painting (Tranh khắc gỗ dân gian Đông Hồ) is a genre of Vietnamese woodcut paintings originated from Dong Ho village (làng Đông Hồ) in Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam.

In the past, Dong Ho painting was an essential element of the Tết holiday in Vietnam, this tradition has gradually declined under the influence of modern types of painting and fake Dong Ho products. A Dong Ho painting center was established in 2008 by Nguyễn Đăng Chế, one of the few remaining experienced craftsmen of the village. .

The traditional themes of Dong Ho painting are good luck signs, historical figures, folk allegories, popular stories and social commentary. Using the traditional điệp paper and colours derived from nature, craftsmen print Dong Ho pictures of different themes from good luck wishes, historical figures to everyday activities and folk allegories.