Dong Ho painters join Covid-19 fight efforts
Dong Ho folk painting style has been applied for propaganda pictures to deliver the government's 5K message in the fight against Covid-19 outbreak.
A series of “new” Dong Ho paintings have been shared in social media these days to raise awareness of the Covid-19 prevention while promoting Vietnam's folk art.
|The first K message of Khau trang (facemask) is being disseminated in the new version of Dong Ho painting called "Boy plays flute".|
Inspired from the origin of Dong Ho folk painting from Thuan Thanh District, Tran Hai Nam, a local painter draws a collection of paintings with Dong Ho style to send the 5K (in Vietnamese) message launched by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to help citizens get used to living safely with the Covid-19 pandemic in a new normal. The 5K means Khau trang (face mask) – Khu khuan (disinfection) – Khoang cach (distance) – Khong tu tap (no gathering) – Khai bao y te (health declaration).
All the pictures bear the “Message 5K” and all these five messages are delivered in Dong Ho painting style.
One of the most popular paintings of Dong Ho line, a boy on a buffalo wearing a face mask, holding a hand sanitizer and a “Bluezone shield” - an app developed by Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communications and MoH for tracing contact. The buffalo also wears a mask.
|The new version of Vinh hoa (Glory) for Khu khuan (Disinfection) message.|
A favorite Dong Ho painting is Vinh hoa (Glory) depicting a little boy hugging a rooster. To support the fight against Covid-19, the boy cleans his hands with soap before touching the rooster, for “Disinfection” message.
|The painting of "catch coconuts" bearing the message of Khoang cach (distance).|
In the Covid-19 time, if people want to “catch coconuts” like in Dong Ho paintings, they must keep distance with each other at least two meters as from the top of the tree to the ground. Coconuts are also delivered through an airplane remote control to avoid direct contact.
|Khong tu tap (No gathering) propaganda picture.|
In addition, a totally new picture is drawn for “No gathering” message asking people to avoid mass gatherings at bia hoi (beer restaurants), bars and Karaoke spots.
The final 5K message, “health declaration”, is delivered in the famous painting of “Mice’s wedding”. The painting mocks the injustice of feudalism of the past. Now if mice want a wedding, they must wear masks, have body temperature check and make healthcare declaration to the cat.
|New version of "Mice’s wedding" is depicted for the last K message of Khai bao y te (Health declaration).|
These pictures went viral on social media platforms for the creative and interesting idea of communication against the Covid-19 pandemic in a folk art way.
Dong Ho folk paintings were first created in the 17th century in Dong Ho village in the northern province of Bac Ninh's Thuan Thanh District. They are unique for their paper and color. The paper is made of the bark of Do (poonah) tree which is thin, soft, spongy, and absorbent and coated with Ho Diep, a mixture of ground oyster shells and steamed rice powder liquid for a special kind of coating, to create shininess.
Meanwhile, colors of the painting are refined from various kinds of tree leaves that can be easily found in Vietnam. Dong Ho paintings are also special for its simplicity and animated reflection of real life and of people’s dream of a better life.
The Covid-19 pandemic has returned to Vietnam, in which Bac Ninh is one of the places suffering the largest number of infected cases. Until May 9, it recorded 42 more positive cases, including 40 in Thuan Thanh District, increasing the total new cases in the province to 89, according to the province's Department of Health.
The national tally is now at 3,245 with 2,602 recoveries, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH). Over 42,000 people are being isolated at quarantine facilities, hospitals and at home.
He may be just 15-years-old, but Tran Nam Long’s artistic skills are way beyond his tender age.
For centuries, Dong Ho paintings were used as precious decorations to celebrate the Tet festival. People bought the paintings to hang on their walls for a year, which are then replaced with new ones for the next New Year.