The “Rats’ Wedding”, a centuries-old social commentary

14:07 | 04/02/2020 Society

(VEN) - Dong Ho, a craft village in the northern province of Bac Ninh, has been famous for its woodcut paintings since the 11th century.

the rats wedding a centuries old social commentary

The paintings convey farmers’ desire for a better life and are unique in that they are made with all-natural materials, including diep paper (from seashell powder and glutinous rice), and colors refined from various kinds of plants.

To make a painting, craftsmen press woodblocks with four different colors - black, red, green, and yellow - onto a sheet of paper. The painting is then covered with a layer of rice paste to strengthen its durability and dried in the sun.

the rats wedding a centuries old social commentary

One of the most famous Dong Ho paintings is “Dam cuoi chuot” (Rats’ Wedding), which dates back 500 years. It depicts both humor and sarcasm, going beyond the story of a rats’ wedding to portray wide class gaps and corruption in society.

“Rats’ Wedding” is a skillful painting reflecting social issues and expressing the farmers’ discontent with their oppression.

the rats wedding a centuries old social commentary

Pham Tiep & Hoang Lan