Hard-working artist breathes life into poonah paper

Dó (Poonah) paper has been widely used in Vietnam’s famous Dong Ho and Hang Trong folk paintings. Drawing on poonah paper requires a very difficult technique that very few Vietnamese painters can master.

hard-working artist breathes life into poonah paper hinh 0
 Artist Vu Thai Binh says he wants to revitalise the painting technique on poonah paper because he is afraid the Dó paper falls into oblivion one day

Painter Vu Thai Binh has spent years researching and perfecting the art of painting on poonah paper, breathing life of modern fine arts into Vietnam’s traditional and unique poonah paper.

Born in 1976 in the northern province of Hung Yen, Vu Thai Binh is known in the Vietnam’s contemporary art scene for his time  and efforts spent on poonah paper painting. He studied Dó paper in 2013 while identifying his own style and was fascinated by the traditional material.

His two exhibitions “Color of Dó 1” in 2016 and “Color of Dó 2” in 2018 in Hanoi received high praise from both critics and art lovers, paving the way for his 3rd exhibition “Color of Dó 3”, scheduled for next year.

His paintings on Dó paper have been loved and purchased for collections in the UK, US, Canada, Thailand, Japan, among others.

The craft of making poonah paper dates back thousands of years in Vietnam. Dó paper, which comes from the bark of poonah trees in northern provinces of Vietnam, has long been used for painting or writing, as seen in renowned folklore paintings, calligraphy and documents from past dynasties and family annals.

It took Binh years to master the art of drawing on Dó paper which remains an artistic challenge for many contemporary artists.

"It’s never been easy to draw on poonah paper which was often in writings and later in folk paintings like Dong Ho and Hang Trong," Binh confided, "I want to breath new life and creativity into Dó paper. I want it to be preserved and further promoted."

 

"Dó paper is rustic and I feel satisfied and happy drawing all I want on this traditional paper of Vietnam. It would be a great loss if one day Dó paper falls into oblivion. That’s why I chose to draw on Dó paper to promote it as long as I can."

hard-working artist breathes life into poonah paper hinh 1
 A painting on Dó paper by Vu Thai Binh in his exhibition "Color of Dó" in 2018. (Photo: dangcongsan.vn)

Binh has found his own techniques of drawing on Dó paper. His paintings are often big, featuring diverse topics: landscape, still-life, animals, people, and rural villages. His typical works include “Quiet Noon”, “My hometown”, “Loyal”, “Time”, and “The Red Dao Woman”. 

Architecture Doan Van Tuan, a fan of Binh’s paintings, told VOV that he há found Binh’s paintings a combination of scientific, artistic, and technical factors. "His sharp observations are softly and cleverly conveyed in his paintings on the very rustic material of Dó paper,.” Tuan said.

Binh discovered that poonah paper kept for a long time will become softer and much easier to draw on than those freshly made. His drawings are precise yet soft and refined.

Painter Minh Phuong elaborated it’s almost impossible to draw on Dó paper because it is very thin and requires the painter’s high precision in the way he moves his brush to avoid creating holes in it.

"It’s also impossible to correct any mistakes during the drawing process. A painting on Dó paper looks beautiful, refined and still new even 5 decades later,” Phuong said.

Each of Binh’s paintings is a combination of many layers of Dó paper. His watercolors blur on the thin and soft paper bringing much emotion for the audience. VOV5

 
 

Other News

.
Street festival promotes Hanoi’s diverse culture
Street festival promotes Hanoi’s diverse culture
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  29/06/2020 

A street cultural festival themed “Hanoi – Green Destination” took place at the pedestrian zone in the city downtown on June 27 evening, attracting thousands of local residents and visitors.

Vietnam opposes wrong location caption in American film
Vietnam opposes wrong location caption in American film
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  29/06/2020 

Authorities of the central city of Quang Nam have requested to suspend the broadcast of an American series aired on Netflix in which Hoi An was dubbed a Chinese landmark.

International Day of Yoga marked in Ninh Thuan, Thanh Hoa
International Day of Yoga marked in Ninh Thuan, Thanh Hoa
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  29/06/2020 

The Embassy of India and the southern province of Ninh Thuan held an event marking the sixth International Day of Yoga in Phan Rang-Thap Cham city on June 28, drawing nearly 1,000 participants from yoga clubs in the southern region.

Women's Club promote Vietnamese cultural heritages
Women's Club promote Vietnamese cultural heritages
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  27/06/2020 

The Women's Club has made its official debut in Hanoi with the aim of preserving and protecting the values of Vietnamese culture.

Ao Dai seeks national intangible heritage title
Ao Dai seeks national intangible heritage title
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  27/06/2020 

A national scientific workshop was held in Hanoi on June 26 to evaluate the historical aspects, customs, cultural values, and identity of Ao Dai, the traditional long dress of Vietnam, seeking recognition as national intangible heritage.

Vietnam vie for Women’s World Cup 2023 place
Vietnam vie for Women’s World Cup 2023 place
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  27/06/2020 

With Australia and New Zealand being named as the hosts of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, the Vietnamese women’s national football team have been granted a boost in their quest to compete in the global tournament.

Vietnam movie audiences lap up musicals
Vietnam movie audiences lap up musicals
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  27/06/2020 

Musicals and music documentaries have shown the potential to succeed at the box office in Vietnam.

Traditional festival goes on with detox rituals
Traditional festival goes on with detox rituals
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

People on Thursday celebrated the Doan Ngo Festival nationwide by eating fruits and fermented glutinous rice in the early morning, but few know all the traditional rituals of the festival.

AFC website praises Ho Chi Minh City FC squad
AFC website praises Ho Chi Minh City FC squad
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

The official website of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has published an article titled “HCM City’s Tran Phi Son eyeing V.League and AFC Cup success” with the piece featuring an interview with the talented winger

Annual VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon returns next month
Annual VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon returns next month
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

More than 4,500 professional and amateur runners have signed up for this year’s VnExpress Marathon Quy Nhon in the coastal city of Quy Nhon in Binh Dinh Province on July 26, according to the organisers.

Liverpool win Premier League: Reds' 30-year wait for top-flight title ends
Liverpool win Premier League: Reds' 30-year wait for top-flight title ends
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

Liverpool's 30-year wait for a top-flight title is over after Manchester City lose 2-1 at Chelsea to confirm the Reds as Premier League champions.

Jessi Combs: US racing driver given female speed record in 2019 fatal crash
Jessi Combs: US racing driver given female speed record in 2019 fatal crash
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

An American racing driver has been posthumously awarded the fastest land-speed record by a female, a feat she died trying to achieve.

Women’s World Cup 2023: Australia and New Zealand to host
Women’s World Cup 2023: Australia and New Zealand to host
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

Australia and New Zealand will host the 2023 Women's World Cup, governing body Fifa announces.

Vietnam to play friendly with Kyrgyzstan on October 8
Vietnam to play friendly with Kyrgyzstan on October 8
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has announced that the national team will play a friendly match against Kyrgyzstan on October 8 in Vietnam.

Festival celebrating families to take place in Hanoi
Festival celebrating families to take place in Hanoi
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

Vietnam Family Day (June 28) will be marked at the Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts on Hoa Lu Street in Hanoi from June 26-28 with a wide range of activities.

Pandemic brings fame in Spain for Vietnam-based cyclist
Pandemic brings fame in Spain for Vietnam-based cyclist
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  26/06/2020 

The coronavirus pandemic has sidelined athletes across the world, but for one Spanish cyclist in Vietnam, it's brought a degree of fame in his home country he never thought possible.

Sticky rice dumpling village busy during Doan Ngo Festival
Sticky rice dumpling village busy during Doan Ngo Festival
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  25/06/2020 

The small pyramid sticky rice dumpling (banh u) traditional village on Pham The Hien Street, HCM City, has been busy prior to and during the Doan Ngo Festival on the fifth day of Lunar May or June 25 this year.

15-year-old swimmer beats star Anh Vien's record
15-year-old swimmer beats star Anh Vien's record
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  25/06/2020 

The 400m medley swimming record set by Vietnam's top female swimmer Nguyen Thi Anh Vien in 2011 was broken by 15-year-old Vo Thi My Tien at the National Age Group Swimming Championship 2020 

National museum releases poster book
National museum releases poster book
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  25/06/2020 

Vietnam Fine Arts Museum and Fine Arts Publishing House have launched a book of posters made from 1958 to 1986. 

Famous songstress wants to sing with indie bands
Famous songstress wants to sing with indie bands
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  25/06/2020 

Top singer Doan Thanh Lam released her new album entitled Nơi Gặp Gỡ Tình Yêu (Where Love Was Born) at her 52nd birthday in Hanoi last week. 

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN