MODERNIZING VIET NAM FOLK PAINTINGS
I grew up in central Viet Nam, an area known as an old citadel of the Nguyen Dynasty. This project grew from a desire to learn more about the traditional values that still exist around me. Many values are still preserved and protected by UNESCO; but some are lost in oblivion by time. Vietnamese folk paintings are unique cultural artforms that have existed for hundreds of years in Vietnamese culture. Nowadays, many craft villages maintain and continue to produce folk paintings for various purposes and preserve traditional values. In recent times, however, their use and purposes have been neutralized by the modernized era. The theme of the project aims to research and innovate folk paintings’ applications through the art of modern card making.
Although all the folk paintings in Viet Nam apply the same printing techniques, each village has its unique style, making the imagery profoundly impressive. Sinh Village painting is one of the four specific famous folk painting branches. This village is located in Hue city – my hometown. Typically, these folk paintings are used for worship ceremonies, particularly on the Lunar New Year’s Eve. The images remind people that the New Year is near and it is time for families to prepare to gather together.
My designs are inspired by the Vietnamese carved paper cards that are displayed in souvenir shops. There are many colorful and impressive cards made from paper that pop-up to show the dimensions. These cards provide a new form for traditional folk painting. This will broaden their appeal and reach, allowing younger and older audience to easily enjoy the value of these ancient art forms and possibly even introduce a new audience to Vietnam's art and culture.