Exhibition touches children’s literary world of crickets

Friday, 2018-02-09 20:44:04
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A boy admiring a painting on display at the exhibition (Photo: VOV)
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NDO – An exhibition entitled “Diary of a Cricket – Touch the worlds” recently opened in late January in Hanoi, making it the first display to bring the characters in the literature masterpiece ‘De Men Phieu Luu Ky’ (Adventures of a Cricket) to life with 3D pop-up illustrations, figurines, and original sketches.

Covering a space of 4,000 square metres, the exhibition is hosted by illustrator Ta Huy Long and is curated by painter Vu Xuan Hoan, both from the Kim Dong Publishing House.

Works on display include 500 picture books and 13 samples of colourful postcards featuring The Cricket and the friends he met during his adventures. The exhibition also recounts the characters in the novel and places visited by The Cricket, including a river of dragon flies and a swamp of mirrors displayed alongside the manuscripts of author To Hoai.

The centre of the display space is host to an installation of a huge cricket, which is 4.5 metres tall and 15 metres long, posed in a jumping position.

The fictional novel ‘De Men Phieu Luu Ky’ by late veteran author To Hoai (1920 -2014) has captured the imagination of different generations of readers both from home and abroad. The book has been printed in nearly 40 languages, including English, French, Thai, and Russian.

The 195-page children’s book tells of the adventures of a cricket who leaves his nest to travel and discovers the world. He improves himself by learning and experiencing new things with the help of many insects and animals.

Through the novel, the world of animals not only teaches humans about how to be well-behaved in life but also brings readers from different countries together in a lively and exciting imaginary land.

Hoai wrote the novel when he was just 20 years old. Seventy years later when the “Cricket Grandpa” was in the last years of his life, he couldn’t imagine that his Cricket had travelled so far beyond Vietnam’s borders to foreign countries and continents around the world.

He might have also thought the day would never come when The Cricket could be presented as a huge and lively figure, together with his friends and his natural living environment in front of thousands of the book’s lovers.

Utilising natural and environmentally-friendly materials such as dried bamboo and sedge, the artists perform a miracle in recreating the imagined characters of the book’s pages in real life: Sister Grasshopper, the Butterfly who is often bullied by the Spider Family, King Frog, the village of Dragonflies, and Knight Mantis, among others.

The two-month exhibition provides an exciting experience for visitors, particularly children, who are invited to take on the adventure of the Cricket.

According to the poet Tran Dang Khoa, participating artists have shown their wonderful talents in turning the book’s illustrations into real art works.

Coming to the exhibition with her two grandchildren, People’s Artist Hoang Cuc said that the display gave her a ticket to return to her childhood and wander through the village’s field in Hung Yen province half a century ago.

The event also attracted the participation of veteran and young painters, illustrators and directors of Vietnam’s film industry, including People’s Artists – Directors Truong Qua and Ngo Manh Lan, painters Nguyen Thanh Chuong and Dau Thi Ngoc Vinh.

Taking place until March 20, the exhibition also features talks with illustrators and painters Ta Huy Long, Vu Xuan Hoang, and Le Thiet Cuong about their preparations for and installation process of the huge Cricket.

Meanwhile, children visiting the event have the opportunity to join a painting workshop and a singing contest and to enjoy songs and dances.

Works on display at the exhibition:

A huge cricket was set up at the centre of the display space