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Cultural materials: Colors in folk paintings

Cultural materials: Colors in folk paintings

In the brilliant world of folk paintings, color is not simply a visual attraction, but also a language, a way of expressing and connecting with cultural identity. Hang Trong and Dong Ho paintings are two types of folk paintings with distinct uses of color but both carry interesting cultural stories.

Dong Ho paintings use natural colors from plants such as black (orange charcoal or bamboo leaf charcoal), green (copper rust, indigo leaves), yellow (rose flower), red (ocher pebbles, wine wood)... and usually only use 4 basic colors, creating a natural and rustic look like a Vietnamese village.

Meanwhile, Hang Trong paintings use more vibrant and rich colors. The colors used include not only natural colors but also added food coloring. The two main colors of Hang Trong painting art are sky blue and magenta.

So why is there a clear difference in the use of color between these two lines of painting?

The reason can be explained based on the origin of each thatching village. If Dong Ho paintings were raised from a small village in Bac Ninh, the cradle of Hang Trong paintings is located in the capital of Thang Long. This creates a difference between rural and urban areas, leading to diversity in painting art.

Understanding the cultural values behind each color, meticulous color selection for Dragon Spirit is not only to recreate images, but also to tell proud cultural stories. Combining the blue color of Hang Trong paintings and the rustic deep color of Dong Ho paintings, we create a unique color language, expressing the diversity and cultural vitality typical of Vietnam.

  Please follow the "Creative Inspiration" series to discover more about the interesting stories behind each cultural material we use!

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