A high-ranking leader has said that local artisans should be
honoured and encouraged to promote traditional Dong Ho folk painting
preservation and development.
Speaking at a ceremony on Saturday to recognise the art as part of the national
intangible cultural heritage, National Assembly Vice-Chairman Uong Chu Luu
lauded the historic and time-honoured cultural vales of Bac Ninh Province and
praised the province's achievements in recent years.
He also asked the province and its people to use Dong Ho folk painting to
promote tradition, boost social economy development and raise the collective
sense of responsibility to preserve the national intangible cultural heritage.
Dong Ho painting is a form of woodcut prints originating from Song Ho Commune,
Thuan Thanh District in the northern province of Bac Ninh.
Traditionally, craftsmen used raw materials from nature, making sheets of
printing paper from the bark of the do tree and creating colours from earth,
burnt bamboo leaves and sea shells.
Dong Ho painting is used to reflect a wide range of themes, especially good luck
wishes, historical figures, and folk allegories. In the past it was part of the
essential decorations in each Vietnamese house during the traditional Tet (Lunar
New Year) festival.
According to villagers, the painting dates back to the 11th century during the
Ly dynasty (1009-1225). However, researchers believe the craft began under the
rule of the Le dynasty (1428-1788).
After printing, the finished picture is covered with a layer of rice paste to
strengthen the durability of its illustration and colours and afterwards dried
under the sun.
As the traditional craft has become less popular over time, efforts have been
made to preserve it, with Nguyen Dang Che and Nguyen Huu Sam, two of the few
remaining experienced craftsmen of the village, establishing their own Dong Ho
The recognition is expected to help preserve and develop the printing art while
increasing the public's awareness of traditional cultural values.
An art programme entitled Visiting Quan Ho Land 2013 was held at the recognition
ceremony at the Kinh Bac Culture Centre.
The programme has been held annually since 2009 when the provincial quan ho
(love duet) singing was recognised by UNESCO as world intangible cultural
It aims to introduce and make quan ho value popular to correspond with the
National Tourism Year on Song Hong (Red River) Delta 2013.