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Excursion/Workshops: Double-bill – Folk Earthen Figurines & Đông Hồ paintings, Bắc Ninh

December 13, 2020 @ 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Đông Khê village, Song Hồ commune, Thuận Thành district, Bắc Ninh used to be very famous for Đông Hồ folk paintings and colorful folk earthen figurines (phỗng đất). But now the village is fully mainly with  bamboo horse frames for votive offerings as  the village has been transformed into one of the largest votive paper manufacturers in Vietnam.

In the middle of this votive paper village, in a small house, an elderly couple work diligently to preserve the traditional folk toys – Mr Phùng Đình Giáp and his wife Mrs Nguyễn Thị Điểu.  Mr Giáp, with over 60 years in this profession, is the last artisan making folk earthen figurines (phỗng đất). Those lovely small items were once an essential part of the childhood  in the Northern areas during Mid-autumn festival   “Making earthen figurines is a traditional profession of my family and I am the third generation. No one knows when this folk profession was born, but my family and I will not let it disappear. Today, many people are less and less interested in folk toys, but I have to keep it alive and developed”, shared artisan Phùng Đình Giáp.

Not far away, is the house of Mrs Nguyễn Thị Oanh.  60+ years of age, Mrs Oanh has more than 50 years working with Đông Hồ folk painting.  She said: “Although making Đông Hồ paintings now is not as profitable as making votive paper, I am still determined to follow this career and also direct my children keep this profession because I feel so proud whenever Đông Hồ paintings are honoured”. In addition to traditional topics, many modern topics have also been depicted  by Mrs Oanh using traditional materials, which helps keep  Đông Hồ paintings alive and relevant.

We will meet at the houses of these 2 artisan’s house to listen to their stories and visit their workshops.   We will each have a chance to make and paint the ‘phỗng đất’ mini figurines in the morning. In the afternoon we use wood blocks to print the outlines of two 19×26 Đông Hồ paintings, one with and one without ready-made colour blocks   (We are not going to use wood blocks to print colours as it requires too much time for drying which cannot be fitted into one afternoon  session) – but our workshop is as good taster session.

lunchtime will be a different experience. We will gather at Mr Giap’s house and garden to rest and enjoy the village atmosphere for about 1 hour before the afternoon session with Mrs Oanh.  lunch is not included in the price and due to limited facilities tat Mr Giap’s house we ask that everyone brings their own picnic lunch and drinks.

Please note:  As this is a double-bill with two workshops, the participation fee is above our standard excursion and workshop amount in order to cover the material costs and donations for 2 artisans as well as the mini bus hire.  We wanted to do this combined day to create something a bit different and memorable .   Also, due to the distance and a packed day we need to depart earlier than usual at  7am.

Event arranged by Phuong Anh

Please register before 5 December via this link  https://forms.gle/Rfz71JHX3dDfxb968

the Artisans will speak in Vietnamese and we will have English translation

420,000 pp (includes donations and materials to 2 artisans and mini bus, excludes lunch, refreshments and products you may want to buy from the artisans and/or the village)

Maximum 25 people

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December 13, 2020
7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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