Hang Trong folk painting exhibition “The New Classics”

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Hang Trong folk paintings are on display at an exhibition themed “The New Classics” at Dong A Gallery at 115 Nguyen Thai Hoc street, Ha Noi. The exhibition introduces the unique value of Hang Trong folk paintings and shows the potential to apply the art in modern life.

The exhibition is part of a project by S River, a group of young people passionate about Hang Trong folk paintings and keen to preserve traditional values.

Hang Trong folk paintings cover such topics as religion, the Lunar New Year, social practices and illustrations of popular stories. Hang Trong is a unique style representing the aesthetic, spiritual, and religious values of the people of ancient Ha Noi. The folk paintings are generally colorful and feature major colors like red, orange, yellow, pink, green, and blue. The basic colors are used to create hundreds of paintings in vivid ways that makes Hang Trong folk paintings unique.

The exhibition consists of a space for iconic paintings on three topics: worshipping the Lunar New Year (Tet), patterns and creative designs that may be applied in contemporary design, and products featuring ancient Hang Trong patterns and colors. 

Trinh Thu Trang, a lecturer at Ha Noi Architectural University, is the founder of the S River group said “At the exhibition, Hang Trong paintings will cover not only classical topics but also contemporary themes. I want to apply the precious traditional value of Hang Trong paintings as a material for contemporary designs such as the containers of Lunar New year jam, rice crackers, and other traditional products of Viet Nam”.

The S River group exploits the value of Hang Trong paintings in a new way, bringing it closer to modern life. The patterns and colors of different pieces are combined and used in product containers and cloth but still retains the soul of the folk painting. 

Nguyen Thi Minh Hang, a member of S River group said “We take inspiration from patterns in Hang Trong paintings. We want to promote its value to young designers and keep it alive in the modern society”.

This is the first project in Viet Nam to analyze the value of Hang Trong paintings. Nguyen Xuan Thanh, former head of the Sculpture Department of the Viet Nam University of Fine Arts said, “Hang Trong paintings are unique and used to be designed for people in the city, thus they are elegant and cover much on social affairs. S River’s project not only helps preserve the folk art’s values but also promotes it as new material for contemporary art”.

Source: VNA