Dong Ho Folk Painting Village – The Colors Of Traditional Art

Post by: admin - Posted at: December 4, 2018

Dong Ho village, also known as Ho village ( formerly known as the village), is the cradle of wood carving and poonah paper paintings. Dong Ho paintings have about 300 years of history in the north of Vietnam with no more than 200 households. Their main income comes from painting. They are famous both inside and outside Vietnam.
Exploring Dong Ho Folk Painting Village
Bac Ninh province is filing a dossier to nominate Dong Ho folk paintings as a world cultural heritage recognized by UNESCO. Today, many domestic and foreign tourists have come to Dong Ho not only to explore and choose to buy, but also to study the famous folk art of the village.
Exploring Dong Ho Folk Painting Village
Dong Ho Painting Village

The beauty of Vietnamese folk art

Dong Ho paintings are natural products. The paper used for the painting is also very special, it is made from bark tree so that the texture can retain color for a long time. Five main colours are used in the paintings including black, green, indigo, red and yellow.The colours are made of natural materials so they are very strong and lively.
Tourist can make your Dong Ho painting by yourself
These are quite basic colors, not mixed anyelses. Because the number of colors corresponds to the number of wood mold, Dong Ho paitings often use about four colors.
Dong Ho folk paintings
The paintings are made by stamping the mold into the paper, one at a time to add more and more color to the picture. To complete a painting, the painters must be very careful and take many steps: painting the lake on paper, drying paper, adding a color on paper then drying that layer, and then adding another color layer. Each color is printed in turn, if there are 5 colors, the printers have to print 5 times and bring to dry 5 times for each color layer.
Dong Ho folk paintings
Dong Ho folk paintings
The paintings are drying
The paintings are drying
Dong Ho paintings are places for artists to reflect their wishes for lucks and their perception of everyday life in the village. Common themes that are found consistently include animals (which has goodluck symbol on them), everyday lifestyle (such as Jealous Fight or A Market Day), meaningful poems, and folk tales (Saint Giong or The Frog Teacher).
Dong Ho paintings

Dong Ho paintings nowadays

Nowadays, Dong Ho paintings are no longer “original art” as in ancient times that is gradually being “commercialized”. Some painters said that Dong Ho paintings are not as colorful as ancient paintings.
Besides, there are only two families still retain the traditional lineage as Nguyen Dang Che and Nguyen Huu Sam artists. The families of Nguyen Dang Che and Nguyen Huu Sam both run their own galleries and employ a number of workers.
Dong Ho paintings
Dong Ho paintings become more creative nowadays
However, despite the enthusiasm of artists and many projects to restore the village, to develop traditional tourism village , but the Dong Ho folk villages still exists only at the “slightly” level, not really being interested in investing to develop. In addition, Bac Ninh is encouraging many businesses to promote traveling tours to Thuan Thanh, Dau pagoda – But Thap pagoda – Dong Ho village and promote the promotion of Dong Ho folk paintings to schools and international markets.
Dong Ho paintings

How to go?

How to make Dong Ho paintings
  • Dong Ho folk painting village is a small village in Thuan Thanh, Bac Ninh province, located on the southern side of the Red River Delta (30km to the east from Hanoi,) is one of the villages that remains to preserve ancient cultural relies of Kinh Bac area (Red River Delta, North of Vietnam.)
  • You can have a visit to Dong Ho family can take 3-4 hours. For the true art-enthusiasts, skip the amateur Nguyen Dang Che’s tourist-exploiting mill and go sit down and have a talk to the famous but elusive Nguyen Huu Sam or his son Nguyen Huu Qua, who are both masters of their trade.
  • From Hanoi to Bac Ninh province, you can go by motorbike or by bus. Dong Ho village visiting is often associated with temple tours , you can visit Dau pagoda and But Thap pagoda after visiting Dong Ho village

When to go?

Dong Ho paintings village
– You can go during Dong Ho village festival, it is held in March of lunar year. In the village festival there are traditional rituals such as: worshping, folk games, competitions, painting contest,…
– Besides, The market for Dong Ho folk paintings is particularly busy during December of lunar calendar, especially on market days on the 6th, 11th, 16th, 21st and 26th day of the month. People in Dong Ho village have a saying: “Wherever you are, remember to return to the village in the 12th lunar month to trade paintings”.
After the final market (on 26th of December lunar calendar) All paintings are wrapped up to wait for the next season to bring back the market for sale. Coming to the market, there are not only shoppers and buyers of paintings, but also does it attract folk art enthusiasts who like to see paintings and enjoy the spring festival.


Dong Ho paintings village
  • You should wear comfortable casual outfit but polite when visiting the village. Because Dong Ho village visiting is often associated with temple tours, you also need to choose the best outfit
  • If you ride a motorbike, please ride carefully on the dike road where traffic accidents often occur on this area.
  • You should consult information about the village on the internet before as Dong Ho village is very quite, it is suitable for those who love to explore and study the famous folk art.
  • The products sold in the village is quite expensive because they are displayed for exhibition you should not bargain.
Nowadays, the Dong Ho pictures have inspired modern Vietnamese artists. They also provide valuable insight into Vietnamese folk art. Dong Ho folk paintings . The Dong Ho folk village is gradually “live again”, promising to become a cultural attractions for both domestic and foreign visitors.

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Post by: admin - Posted at: December 4, 2018

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