Immersing In Tradition: Tet Paintings Illuminate Lunar New Year Celebrations | Vietcetera
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Jan 22, 2024

Immersing In Tradition: Tet Paintings Illuminate Lunar New Year Celebrations

Celebrate the Lunar New Year by diving into the vibrant artworks that beautifully depict the essence of a traditional Tet at Lotus Gallery.
Immersing In Tradition: Tet Paintings Illuminate Lunar New Year Celebrations

Source: Lotus Gallery.

Lotus Gallery x Vietcetera.

Every year, many people believe Tet is a chance to start over. This idea is often about picking up where you left off with plans or goals that weren’t completed in the past year. The new year is the perfect opportunity to make a fresh start and leave old troubles behind.

The tradition of saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the new one is filled with positive feelings. It brings hope and excitement for starting the new year in a happy and grand way.

In addition to common activities like family get-togethers, making traditional rice cakes, or going to flower markets, there’s a unique cultural practice during the Lunar New Year: collecting and displaying Tet paintings (tranh Tết). Hanging a Tet painting in the living room not only makes the house look more stylish but also shows the homeowner’s hope and excitement for the coming year. It’s a way of showing respect and sound values in the family.

But where did this tradition of collecting paintings come from? And who can join in this cultural activity?

Tracing back to history

The origin of this Tet painting tradition is unclear. It is said to have started during the Tran Dynasty (1225 - 1400), or maybe even earlier, during the Ly Dynasty (1010 - 1225), as mentioned in a Tuoi Tre newspaper article. No matter when it began, enjoying these Tet paintings remains a vital cultural element, adding depth and meaning to the Spring festivities.

Dong Ho paintings are particularly popular during the Lunar New Year, as reported by the Lao Dong Thu Do newspaper. Hanging these paintings comes from the idea of welcoming new things and saying goodbye to the old (Tống cựu, nghinh tân). Many families believe bringing a new painting home during the Lunar New Year brings good luck.

Dong Ho paintings, in particular, are sought-after items during Tet. | Source: Lao động Thủ đô.

Dong Ho paintings, in particular, are sought-after items during Tet, as highlighted by the Lao Động Thủ Đô newspaper. The practice of hanging these paintings is deeply rooted in the cultural notion of “out with the old, in with the new” (Tống cựu, nghinh tân). Many families see hanging a new painting during Tet as a way to invite good fortune into their homes.

People often go to markets to select the most beautiful Tet paintings. They carefully replace old paintings with new ones, making sure the new painting fits well in their home. Thus, Tet paintings transcend mere decoration, embodying hopes and aspirations for the future.

In modern terms, a Lunar New Year painting is like a “vision board.” It’s a way to show everyone that you aim for good and positive things.

Tet Paintings: Diverse Styles and Materials

Tet paintings, with their bright colors, rich themes, and distinctive lines, are not just art pieces; they bridge aesthetic appreciation, societal philosophy, and deep human values. When discussing Tet paintings in Vietnam, prominent styles like Dong Ho, Hang Trong, and Kim Hoang immediately come to mind.

Hang Trong Folk Paintings | Source: Nhịp sống Hà Nội

These regions are renowned for their skilled artisans who tirelessly produce unique paintings, catering to the enthusiasts who display them during Tet. Each painting style has its own charm, targeting different artistic preferences and audiences.

Dong Ho’s paintings are known for their simplicity and earthiness, featuring relatable images like chickens and pigs, resonating with the common folk. In contrast, Hang Trong’s paintings, with elegant depictions of beautiful women and the “Four Seasons,” tend to attract a more upscale clientele.

Embracing Tet Paintings Without Splurging

Purchasing Tet paintings is more than a transaction; it’s a gesture of goodwill and hope for the new year, conveying the aspirations of families.

Enjoying this art form isn’t limited to the affluent or those with hefty incomes. The world of art is accessible to all who appreciate beauty and wish to communicate their sentiments through artistic expression.

Indulging in tet paintings doesn’t require deep pockets | Source: Lotus Gallery.

Consequently, collecting these paintings has become a distinctive aspect of Lunar New Year celebrations. With a plethora of subjects encompassing culture, history, and spirituality, a strategically placed Tet painting can transform a room, infusing it with a spirit of joy and vivacity. It’s a way for homeowners to align with the season’s positive energies, welcoming in the spring with open arms.

A Special Lunar New Year Art Exhibition at Lotus Gallery

For Tet 2024, art lovers are in for a treat with a Tet-themed exhibition at Lotus Gallery from January 6 to February 29, 2024. This exhibition promises an emotional journey through the Lunar New Year festivities. Viewing these vibrant and colorful Tet paintings at the start of the year is like setting a foundation for a year brimming with happiness and excitement.

The immersive experience at Lotus Gallery | Source: Lotus Gallery

The Lotus Gallery’s collection showcases paintings that capture the essence of a traditional Tet. Visitors can expect scenes of bustling floating markets with boats laden with flowers, the lively Tet atmosphere of the Northwest highlands, and the diverse celebrations of different ethnic communities. Beyond these, the exhibition features serene still lifes in soothing, sophisticated palettes, enchanting lotus ponds, relaxed carps, and vibrant floral hillsides. The range of mediums is impressive, from traditional dó paper to exquisite silk and tile paintings.

The practice of enjoying Tet paintings has become increasingly cherished, contributing to the warm and refined ambiance of the holiday season. Each artwork is more than just a visual piece; it’s a reflection of the artist’s heartfelt emotions and thoughts.

These paintings also represent a beacon of inspiration and aspiration for viewers, heralding a year filled with joy, prosperity, and contentment. If you seek a refined and tranquil Tet, away from the bustling, frenetic world, the peaceful haven of the gallery - where art intersects with tradition - is the perfect retreat.