The pig – the animal designation of the 2019 Lunar New Year inspires creativity among the famous painters, who are close collaborators of Nhan Dan's monthly magazine.
The paintings convey the painter’s good wishes, beautiful dreams of a new year of affluence to the readership and every home.
Painter Dang Xuan Hoa: Year marks sixty-year cycle
Painting the animal designation on the occasion of each Lunar New Year (Tet) has become my habit for many years. But 2019 is a very special milestone, when I go through a sixty-year cycle, this year is the second time in my life I will welcome the Tet Ky Hoi.
A vibrant flower vase on which the pig is cheerfully piggybacking on its back is a gift for me to reward myself, at the time of remembering the age of 60.
Inspired by the folk paintings of Dong Ho and Kim Hoang, I used the ancient way of making blocks in using stylised motifs from sows. Creating images emphasising the characteristics of the fat pig is a bridge to convey the wish of a prosperous year.
Using the three colors of red, green and yellow for the image of the pig in the painting is also my own intention, because they are the fundamental colours, which help the artist to freely create and blend into 12 different colours.
It can be said that using that colour is the beginning of the fullness of life, the source of labour and creativity and the fullness of happiness. It is also a new year greeting that I respectfully send to the readerships.
Painter Pham An Hai: Blowing the soul of modernism into folk paintings on pigs
In the Year of the Pig, I composed a lot of paintings on animal designation. But the picture is the work that I like the most, I feel it is most suitable for Tet.
Inspired by the familiar pig image in the Kim Hoang painting line, which is impressively shaped with accents in the ears and muzzle parts and no yin yang symbol as the image of pig in Dong Ho painting line, my image of a pig was added to two ancient vignettes as the best wishes for a happy new year. "Tu Dai Dong Duong” (Four generations under the same roof) - four words on a fat pig's back express the wish of longevity.
Meanwhile symmetrical round swirls interpret the wish “A myriad of things go according to your will”.
Although featuring traditional features, my image of the pig still brings the modern breath as it is wearing "a blue shirt". Blue is a colour that was not available in the past because folk artists only used natural colours. The colour is modern but still traditional, as the blue is closer to the colour of the indigo enamel of ceramic artifacts.
Adding a bit of contrasting orange creates a visual attraction. My image of a pig is a harmonious whole between ancient and present, between old and new. As the traditional Tet is an old value, it is necessary to be preserved, but Tet also directs people toward bright future aspirations.
Painter Le Tri Dung: Wishes on old wooden tray
In Vietnamese folk painting, the image of pigs appears quite a lot in Tet paintings, mostly in the Red River Delta area.
Farmers of ancient times often painted pictures of pigs or chicken, which are the animals close to daily life, always sticking and giving them abundant life.
The image of pigs in Dong Ho paintings often have yin and yang swirls, symbols for good crops, favorable weather, and well-to-do family. The image of a pig herd often has one mother pig and four piglets, with the five colours of black, white, red, yellow and green.
Thus, the image of the pig in the Dong Ho painting has met both yin yang element and the five elements of earth, water, wind, fire and wood. The pig in the folk encapsulates a happy dream of the Vietnamese people, when carrying the symbol of prosperity, proliferation and prosperousness.
In this year, I send to the readers of Nhan Dan's monthly magazine a picture of a pair of mother pig - piglets painted on an old wooden tray. The tray is reminiscent of warm, reunited meals. The image of the water-taro underneath is their favorite food, while the blue sky and white clouds above signal a full and peaceful year.
And the image of the fluttering spring festival flag, the happy smile, and the peach blossom branch in the hand of the pair of mother pig - piglet, are the symbols of happy spring.
Painter Nguyen Thi Hien: From memory of the piggy bank…
When I was a child, my parents gave me a bright red terracotta piggy bank, to keep my savings. I diligently put money through the small slot of that piggy bank and soon the pig was full of money.
Until now, going through many years of human life, the piggy is still alive in my childhood memories. Material may vary, from soil to plastic, but all are red or brilliant pink.
In the conception of Vietnamese people, pigs always symbolise prosperity, disengagement and comfort. Therefore, each Year of the Pig, my father - writer Kim Lan, stuck a Dong Ho painting on the door, with the image of a pig or a herd of piglets and mother pigs to pray for joy, peace and a happy new year for the most loved ones.
Remembering my father, this year I chose the image of the pig family, with the image of the old piggy bank as the theme for my picture on animal designation.
The next year is expected to be the year of many changes of the country, signaling a good future, happiness, comfort, prosperity, and peace coming to every home. I send the painting of pigs to share the message on preserving the beauty of tradition that our fathers have treasured, and giving full transmission to posterity.