The image of buffalo in paintings of zodiac signs

Saturday, 2021-02-13 12:24:48
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The painting entitled “Pastor playing a flute” by Nguyen Thi Hien
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NDO – Many generations of Vietnamese people know the sentence by heart, “Who says buffalo herding is suffering? No, buffalo herding is very enjoyable…” in the lesson titled “Buffalo herding” in an ancient text book. The memories of buffalo have been expressed in the paintings of zodiac signs that were created by the painters - close collaborators of the monthly publication of Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper as best wishes for health, happiness and peace.

Painter Nguyen Thi Hien: the tranquillity beside “Pastor playing a flute”

Whenever I think of buffalo, the image of the familiar village gate and green rice fields in a peaceful countryside appears in my mind. The image of “The buffalo goes first, the plow follows” has become a typical symbol for the wet rice civilisation of Vietnamese people that has existed for thousands of generations. The plain and laborious buffalos have faithfully stood side by side with farmers throughout the history of the country.

My small sized painting (24.5 x 22.5 cm, acrylic on paper) also features the image of a “pastor playing a flute” like familiar paintings of the same name from Dong Ho folk painting village. The ancient village’s gate is flickering behind. Amidst the immense pink lotus the national flower of Vietnam, birds and butterflies, the melancholy countryside melodies spread the melancholy. The beautiful peach blossom and yellow apricot do not exist specifically, but are behind the representative colours of decorative patterns on the buffalo. Being a woman, I blew a feminine perspective on the image of the buffalo. The buffalo in my painting bears a gentle and compassionate beauty.

Saying goodbye to the year of the rat and welcome the year of the buffalo, I wish all people a new year of abundant health, peace, prosperity and good luck. I also hope that the Covid-19 pandemic will pass quickly, so that this world may be filled with happiness, prosperity and peace again.

Painter Pham An Hai: the dream of prosperity conveyed in the painting “Tan Suu Buffalo”

The buffalo has had very close relationship with the farmers. The new year of the buffalo inspired me to highlight the zodiac sing of the upcoming Lunar New Year through the fine arts’ language and warm colours, Hoa (fire) is good for Tho (earth) in the relationship among the Five Elements, so I chose the red as the main colour in my painting of zodiac sing of upcoming Lunar New Year.

Throughout the perspective of feng shui, children who will be born in the upcoming lunar year of the buffalo will bear the element of Tho (earth). Therefore, brown was chosen as the background colour of my painting. The image of the buffalo is very simple so that viewers can understand easily.

The painting highlights a buffalo which was designed with many quintessential features that have been distilled from many ancient features of the country including the motifs of seals in pagodas and temples and flags in the festivals. Following a year when the world struggled with the pandemic and natural disasters, feelings of excitement, joy, and optimism about a happy future are what I want to convey through my 40 x 50 cm painting.

Painter Nguyen Van Duc: welcoming a new Spring

In my childhood, I was always associated with laborious buffalos. Outside of schools, wandering in the fields, playing with friends or riding a buffalo while playing flute and flying a kite is my greatest happiness.

Therefore, to welcome the lunar new year of the buffalo, I intend to launch five paintings of buffalo in the Five Elements. I presented Nhan Dan Monthly publication with the 73 x 92 cm acrylic work entitled “New Spring”. The spring is coming along with a strong buffalo. The red represents the element of Hoa (fire), creating an instantaneous visual impact. However, that appearance and colours cannot cover up the inherent gentleness and friendliness of the buffalo when it allows a bird to jump over its head and children to play hide and seek under its belly.

I prioritise the co-presenting style, aiming to combine and reproduce many different spaces at the same time. The stylised floral motifs in the ancient materials as well as the combination of the images of sun and buffalo created the harmony of colours and layout for the painting.

Tet is coming and remembrance reminds me of many unforgettable childhood memories with my close friend. The inspiration from the buffalo will help us live better and respect what we have.

Painter Le Tri Dung: happiness with the painting “Pastor play flute”

For some reason, the image of an old farmer carrying his buffalo to the field with a large chung cake (square glutinous rice cake) hanging from his neck always appears in my mind. Taking a rest on the edge of the field, he slowly peeled the cake, slowly shared with the buffalo the taste of Tet. Whenever I draw the painting of the buffalos, I remember the happy contentment of both farmers and the castle.

The farmers do not see buffalo as a mere production support tool. The buffalo is a friend; the buffalo is an indispensable member of the whole family. The buffalo occupies a very important position.

Therefore, in my painting, the boy picks a big lotus leaf to shield both him and the buffalo from the sun. Meanwhile, the black buffalo gives his owner a very gentle love expression. The pastor’s lying figure on the buffalo's back will remind viewers the Dong Ho folk painting entitled “Riding buffalo and flying kite” with a familiar peaceful scene. With my 30 x 44 cm painting entitled “Pastor riding a buffalo”, I want to extend my wishes of prosperity and luck for bountiful crops. “Tan Suu” means new buffalo, so everything will be new. I believe that!