A lacquer painting exhibition featuring the Vietnamese practices related to belief in Mother Goddesses is taking place in Hanoi’s Fine Arts Museum.

Entitled “Giá thánh” (Saints), the solo exhibitionis the first of its kind about Đạo Mẫu, the Worship of Mother Goddesses in Vietnam, since it was recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December last year.

26 lacquer paintings depict the ritual of spirit of mediumship with mediums in different colourful costumes.

Painter LuongXuan Doan

Long must have a special love for the worshipping ritual to express this beauty. This is also a contribution of painter Tran Tuan Long to Vietnam’s contemporary art, helping the genre to develop.

Through Long’s paintings, people may agree that no material can express the subtle beauty of the ritual other than lacquer.

If the colour of ochre, gold and silver create the inherent splendour of a trance ritual session, then the depth created by lacquer painting offers a sense of the miracle of the spiritual world. It requires much toil and meticulousness to make such a multi-layered work.

Painter LuongXuan Doan

The five colours in lacquer painting were fully utilised by Long. It creates resplendencein each work. He was successful in depicting the sacred atmosphere.

 Painter Ly Truc Son

Tran Tuan Long, in my opinion, is one of the painters thathas mastered the use of materials. He learnt all the technique of lacquer painting from folk artists and painters of all generations. This helps him distinguish himself from other painters by bringing the ego into the work.

Graduating from the Vietnam University of Fine Arts, Long has spent two decades recording the ritual in lacquer.

Painter Tran Tuan Long

I’m very happy that the paintings have helped express my admiration for the traditional worshiping ritual of the motherland. The paintings were made using lacquer technique, which is a unique painting genre of Vietnam.

The exhibition will last until March 15 at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. The paintings will be exhibited at galleries abroad later on.-VNA