(VEN) – On March 16, Bac Ninh’s People’s Committee held a ceremony to honor the Dong Ho folk paintings as an element of national culture, providing a major motivation for Dong Ho painters to continue to preserve the trade that bears the beauty of Kinh Bac’s unique cultural traits forever.Duong River, in Song Ho Commune, Thuan Thanh District, Bac Ninh Province, is famous for its folk woodcuts, and manually produced prints that use natural materials such as bamboo and indigo leaves.
Dong Ho paintings describe everyday life, historical, and religious events; reflects the different dimensions of rural life, and contain the thoughts, feelings and aspirations of the agricultural population. Therefore at each village painting fair, Dong Ho paintings have attracted both local and international visitors. The village only holds five 5-day fairs annually to sell paintings, and therefore they are popular events, and attract the largest numbers of visitors at the year-end fair.
Dong Ho Village experienced its heyday before 1944. At that time, 17 families in the village were engaged in the print trade, adding vivid color to the village’s life.
However, Dong Ho style prints began to experience difficulties from the 1960s, and especially during the 1990s, due to the change in consumer tastes and the impact of the new printing technology. In addition, many Dong Ho painter families gradually switched to higher-income careers such as making votive objects, which made the revival of the trade more and more difficult.
However, Dong Ho folk woodcut paintings have experienced something of a revival in recent years, attracting many national and international delegations to the village to learn and explore this old line of painting, despite the fact that very few villagers make a living from the trade.
The honoring of Dong Ho folk woodcut paintings as an example of the country’s heritage has encouraged Dong Ho villagers and other people in Bac Ninh Province to play a greater role in the art’s conservation.
After this event, Bac Ninh’s People’s Committee will prepare a dossier for submission to UNESCO, with the intention of Dong Ho prints being recognized internationally as an element of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent protection./.
By Thanh Tam