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Vietnamese Painting

 


Painting doesn't have a strong hold in Vietnam's culture as can be found in other Asian countries like Japan, Korea and China.  Popular themes for painting were landscapes, plant life, birds as well as calligraphy - as was the current trend in China.  The earliest paintings found are from the late 18th century.  Although paper was used, silk and lacquer were preferred. 

Enamel painting is still being done today, following a revival in the 15th century.  Lacquer is put over wood at least 12 times, thus smoothing over rough surfaces.  This is a lengthy process due to the fact that the lacquer must dry for several days, then be smoothed and polished before another layer is applied. 

 

 In older times, those pieces of enamel painting with the highest quality had over 200 layers of lacquer on them!  With lacquer painting, a color is painted on each layer with traditional paintings having red and black, although there are other colors that are used on occasion.  A special effect that is used is the placing of gold or silver dust under the veneer as well.



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