|Dong Ho folk painting "The Mouse's Wedding".
Titled “How family kept a centuries – old Vietnamese painting alive?”, the video has attracted 100,000 views since its initial release on February 5.
It tells the story of the history of Dong Ho paintings in the northern province of Bac Ninh, along with the people who are still making art this way in Dong Ho village.
According to the clip, Dong Ho paintings - a genre of the Vietnamese fork woodcut painting dating back in the 17th century - are printed on special Dzo paper made of bark of Dzo tree in Vietnam.
Paintings depict subjects found in everyday life and serve to reflect people’s dreams for a prosperous and happy life. Local people typically buy Dong Ho paintings to decorate their homes during the Lunar New Year festival, known locally as Tet.
The village is normally busy all year round, with up to 17 clans involved in making paintings. However, the art form died out during the past wars.
At present, the production of Dong Ho paintings is not as prosperous as it had been in the past. Many families in the village have since quit doing this craft, although descendants of artisan Nguyen Huu Sam considered as a “living treasure” of the village are still practicing it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to all business activities, and the making of Dong Ho folk paintings is no exception. However, villagers are practicing the trade to make ends meet and more importantly to preserve and pass down this art form to younger generations.