Trucchigraphy & Vietnamese Paper Art

06/06/2022

Handmade paper craft appeared in Vietnam quite early, from about the 3rd century (AD). Historical documents recorded that Roman merchants bought tens of thousands of sheets of honey scented paper from the Giao Chi; A book called “Ten strange stories” of a Chinese author surnamed Wang,  the Giao Chi people knew how to make paper from moss taken from the seabed, called Trac Ly paper… from the 4th century. Today, we can still see “dó paper”, “sắc phong paper”, “điệp paper”, etc., which are handmade papers that are still preserved and developed in Vietnam.

With a concept to make paper no longer play a background role but become an independent work, Truc Chi (bamboo paper) art is one of the achievements of the Grassroots Science Research Project – Hue University called: “Researching and making paper from local materials, applying it to teaching, learning and composing art” – code: DHH 2013-05-08 by painter Phan Hai Bang – lecturer at University of Arts – Hue University.

Since then, the technical term system “Trucchi Graphics/Trucchigraphy” has been a new system of graphic technical terms from Vietnam in the world.

Trucchi is crafted by with the combination of the traditional paper craft dating back thousands of years and the principles of Graphic arts.

Truc Chi is the name of Paper Art – Vietnamese art paper, as bamboo is a symbol of Vietnamese culture and spirit. Accordingly, the main idea of Truc Chi is to give the paper the ability to get out of the background role to become a self-made, independent artwork. If Washi (Hoa chi) is a word for Japanese handmade paper, and Hanji (Han chi) is a word for Korean craft paper (not just a specific type of material), then Truc Chi is a Vietnamese paper craft word to identify a new type of paper-art of the Vietnamese people.

Truc Chi uses a variety of materials available locally for the crafting: straw, bamboo, duckweed, sugarcane, banana, grass… Truc Chi art has high adaptability to the visual arts. art) and applied art (design) and is used by many designers in interior decoration.

The process of creating bamboo paintings

Truc Chi/trucchigraphy graphics is a combination and improvisation on 3 elements:

– The traditional handmade paper making process.

– The technique of creating water pressure on paper

– The principles of graphic art (the principle of metal engraving / etching) are creatively researched and tested in the working process.

The principle of Truc Chi graphic design is to use water pressure to peel off layers of pulp to create a thin or thick layer, corresponding to the colors of Truc Chi works when interacting with light. This is what makes the difference and the characteristics of each work.

Each bamboo painting is just a unique, imprinted work. To create a work, the artist needs to perform the following basic steps: choosing raw materials and processing, soaking in lime water, cooking for 12 hours continuously; grinding raw materials into powder; creating wet paper, then creating images and patterns according to the ideas on the wet paper under water pressure pen to create a thin or thick layer of the picture, as well as the embossment of the pattern based on the artist’s idea; expose the painting to direct sunlight (or drying it ) until it is processed and finished.

Currently, after 10 years of development, Truc Chi Art Vietnam project has its main office in Hue, and branches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

“Hue in the heart of Hue” collection

The Truc Chi collection is displayed at the exhibition “the Beauty of Vietnamese craft villages” with the theme “Hue in the heart of Hue” with the aim of using art installation to introduce tourists Hue ancient capital, the region’s heritage with traditional values and contemporary art.

Artworks:

– Lien Hoa Ho Tinh (Lotus flower in Tinh Lake): An installation work consisting of 5 lotus paintings of 110x300cm forming a pentagon. Number 5 is the central number that can be used to remind the historical position of Hue in the history. In addition, in cultural stories, Hue has its own color palette called Hue Five Colors, consisting of 5 colors: red, yellow, purple, blue, cyan.

– The Nine Tripod Cauldrons: A painting with motifs of images on Cuu Dinh (“The nine tripod cauldrons): Vietnam’s natural resources in one piece.

– The Pink Spring: a decorative painting

– The Empty Mind: a version of the work Empty Mind. The meaning of the set of Truc Chi paintings: Buddha is formless, Buddha is in our mind.

– The meditation scene:

– Painting “Born”

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