Picture hanging, a tradition of the Lunar New Year

(VOVworld) – Traditionally, special Tet (Lunar New Year) pictures are hung in a Vietnamese house. Each picture includes a wish or parallel sentence. Now, as people’s living standards improve, their interest in Tet paintings is being revitalized. 

Picture hanging, a tradition of the Lunar New Year - ảnh 1
The Tet Art  fair of paintings

Tet pictures often depict the 12 zodiac animals or a happy, peaceful, affluent family life their owners wish for. Painter Nguyen Hong Van remembers his childhood when he was taken by his father, painter Nguyen Bich, to downtown Hanoi to look at Tet pictures:“When my dad took me to the market, it was very crowded. Confucian tutors were sitting there, painting parallel sentences or printing wood block pictures. Their pictures were hung all over the pavements, particularly in Hang Luoc street.”

Picture hanging, a tradition of the Lunar New Year - ảnh 2
A confucian tutor paints parallel sentences

Recently, painters have reopened these Tet markets: Tet Art and Tet Dome for example, where people come to talk about fine arts, enjoy the ambience, and buy paintings. Tran Thi Thu, one of 200 painters whose work is exhibited at these markets, said:“It is so heartwarming, so full of fun and tradition. I believe this is a new playground for Vietnam’s fine arts.”

Today’s Tet pictures embody a more personal touch than the standard folk pictures. Contemporary fine arts markets changing people’s view that art is only for the rich. Tran Huy Oanh, a connoisseur of paintings in Hanoi, said a new, modern fine arts space has created a wider audience:“These markets of authentic paintings are able to satisfy consumers’ needs. They’re like a restaurant that offers many delicious and diverse dishes. People feel free to sample them. If they really fall in love with a painting, they may reward the painter.”

Painter Thanh Chuong says essence of Tet should be preserved: “I think we should preserve the core values of our traditions, rather than just their forms or activities. Ofcourse, the markets for Dong Ho or Sinh village folk paintings are things of the past. What we need to do now is to keep the essence of those paintings.”