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Speaker: artisan Lê Đình Nghiêncollector Thanh Uy and researcher Trịnh Thu Trang
Date: 10 – 18 November 2018
Time: 9.30am – 1pm (on 10 Nov.) and 10am – 7pm (from 11 – 18 Nov.)
Language: Vietnamese with English translation

Hang Trong paintings are traditional woodcut paintings from the North of Vietnam. Besides the rustic and quaint paintings of Dong Ho or Kim Hoang, Hang Trong paintings were once referred as cultural elements of upper class officials in the prosperous imperial city of Hue, due to technical sophistication and size. Born in the 17th century, this line of painting was associated with the place: Hang Trong Ward, Hanoi. Today, this place is no longer known as the paintings ward, but as Hang Trong Street.

At the end of the 19th and early 20th century, the Hang Trong painting was in its peak, with various themes closely associated with the everyday activities of the Vietnamese people: blessing, teaching, faith, history, entertainment, etc. Some exemplary paintings would be Tet holiday paintings, such as: Cong-Ca (Peacock-Fish), Tam Da-That Dong, Set of Beautiful Women, The Four Panels; the worshiping series, such as: Five Tigers, Three Palaces, Four Palaces, Mother of Highland; some novel illustrations such as: The Story of Kieu, Nhi Do Mai, Son Hau, Three Kingdoms, etc. Unlike folk paintings of Dong Ho, which make full use of engraved planks and colors, in Hang Trong paintings, artisans only use engraving (wood engraving is made of soft wood, cage ink or ‘thi’ wood). The process of drawing color is completely hand-painted by the artisan after printing the strokes. The talent, technique of color mixing and personal aesthetics of each artisan has created the identity for each work, which used to be considered popular folk. According to the history, the society has had many changes, resulting in the decline in demand for purchasing paintings. From hundreds of people who were artisans, now there is only one artisan, Lê Đình Nghiên, son of artisan Lê Đình Liệu, who is still passionate and determined to maintain the soul of Hang Trong paintings.

In order to contribute to the preservation and promotion of this artistic heritage, The Factory and Khơi Nguồn Cảm Hứng will discuss Hang Trong paintings from multiple perspectives with artisan Lê Đình Nghiên, collector Thanh Uy and researcher Trịnh Thu Trang. This discussion will engage the consciousness of preserving folklore values ​​through the transmission of practice, the collection of works and the study of bringing the work closer to contemporary life. This event coincides with a small display of limited edition works by artisan Lê Đình Nghiên. In addition, the event will also include a workshop for audiences to choose colors and motifs from traditional Hang Trong paintings to create decorative motifs on gravel, which will be guided by the ‘Vietnamese Art’ group. For details about the events, please see below:

Saturday – November 10, 2018

Participation fee: 350,000 VND / person, including all activities and products to bring home after workshop. Early bird ticket (before 01/11) and group ticket (from 2 people): 300,000 VND / ticket. (This event is only available in Vietnamese).

We can only welcome a maximum of 60 people to ensure the quality of the program. Register and ticket purchasing here.  

  • 9:30 – Welcoming guests.
  • 10:00 – Artisan Lê Đình Nghiên’s Hang Trong painting performance.
  • 10:30 – Conversation between artisan Lê Đình Nghiên, collector Thanh Uy and researcher Trịnh Thu Trang
  • 11:30 – Q&A with the audiences.
  • 12:00 – Painting workshop of Hang Trong paintings led by ‘The Vietnamese Colors’ team.
  • 13:00 – Finish. Free entrance for visitors to view the works.


Sunday, November 11 to Sunday November 18, 2018

Free entry

Display of Hang Trong paintings takes place in the Workshop are of The Factory from 10am – 7pm.

*Please purchase entrance ticket at the Arts Centre reception. This fee gives you access to our exhibitions, reading room and public programs. For further information, please click here.

**Participants of the event allow The Factory and co-organizer (if applicable) to use their images and statements as documentary for the program, for non-commercial purposes such as: archive, press, media, promotion on our website, Facebook etc