Sunday , February 25 2024

Exhibition displays dragon-inspired illustrations by young artists


Vẽ Con Rồng (Draw the Dragon) exhibition is taking place at the Temple of Literature. VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Thuận

HÀ NỘI An exhibition revealing interesting and joyful perspectives about the dragon, the zodiac animal symbol of the Lunar New Year is taking place at the Temple of Literature in Hà Nội.

The exhibition, entitled Vẽ Con Rồng (Draw the Dragon), introduces to the public 80 illustrations by over 75 young artists that won the Illustration Challenge #13, organised by TiredCity Company and the Vietnam Local Artist Group (VLAG) last November.

Prior to the exhibition, 13 outstanding pieces were selected to be printed on calendars as part of a fundraising campaign for the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, an organisation supports street children, disabled children and victims of human trafficking across Việt Nam. All the proceeds from the sale of these calendars were donated to the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.

Visitors will have a chance to view various images of the dragon inspired by legends, culture, films, literature and even everyday life. Through the young artists’ creativity, the images of the mythical creature become unique, impressive and even adorable.

The illustration named Super Long (Super Dragon) by Trần Vĩnh Thiện was inspired by Super Mario, a game associated with the childhood memories of generations of Vietnamese people. The artist skillfully combines the iconic video game elements with the image of the dragon and traditional Vietnamese styles.

Super Long (Super Dragon) by Trần Vĩnh Thiện. 

Or Gói Bánh Chưng (Wrapping Chưng Cake) by Tahtag depicts an image of a dragon learning to make traditional rice cakes, joining the festive atmosphere of the Lunar New Year with the whole community. Long Bào by the Tora is inspired by the imperial robe decorated with a dragon which the artist witnessed firsthand.

Gói Bánh Chưng (Wrapping Chưng Cake) by Tahtag

Another piece, Tái Sinh (Rebirth) by artist Mỹ Hoa, depicts the story of a young girl’s special fondness for dragons and her belief that dragons still exist in the present world. She unintentionally awakens a dragon that has been sealed within a book for thousands of years.

Tái Sinh (Rebirth) by artist Mỹ Hoa

Director of the Cultural and Scientific Activities Centre at the Temple of Literature Lê Xuân Kiêu said the Draw the Dragon exhibition is a meaningful celebration of the Year of the Dragon in 2024. It is also an effort by young artists to bring forth artworks depicting dragons, revered mythical creatures in Vietnamese culture.

“The dragons are depicted in a familiar and affectionate manner, exploring various historical perspectives, from the legends of Lạc Long Quân (a holy dragon) and Âu Cơ (a fairy birth) to the historical dynasties of Lý, Trần, Lê, and Nguyễn, as well as their connection to contemporary daily life. Through creative artistic portrayals, the dragons come to life, especially as the new year of the dragon is approaching,” he said.

According to Dr Nguyễn Phước Hải Trung, Director of the Huế Ancient Capital Heritage Conservation Centre, dragons hold significant aesthetic symbolism in society. The appearance of a dragon is seen as a sign of luck and endurance. Within the context of imperial heritage, dragons symbolise power and are closely associated with the Emperor. However, this exhibition showcases the creativity of the younger generation, demonstrating their innovative interpretations of the dragon motif.

“What is special about this exhibition is that the predominant drawing technique used is digital art. This approach ensures speed while also expressing the unique style and personality of the artists,” he said.

“The younger generation’s artistic approach and contemporary art perspective create a different and fresh portrayal of dragon images. This brings about a new artistic value. When this new value harmonises with the ancient and traditional space, it further highlights its uniqueness. This is something that heritage should strive for.”

The exhibition runs until February 20. A similar event featuring 30 dragon-inspired artworks will be held at the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long from January 20 to February 24.

Founded in 2016, TiredCity’s mission is to bring Vietnamese art and culture closer to the domestic and international public. They have contributed to spreading Vietnamese creativity through commercial collaborations with over 300 artists, creating more than 100,000 commercial products for both domestic and international markets.

VLAG is a community that fosters exchange and learning, particularly among illustrators. Currently, VLAG has over 125,000 members and regularly organises large-scale drawing competitions and direct/online exchange activities. VNS









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