Painter Thanh Chuong and his paintings of chickens

Saturday, 2017-01-28 15:30:36
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A painting at the exhibition
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NDO – In Vietnam, each year all people are eager to make due preparations in order to welcome in the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday. For painter Thanh Chuong, producing some 60 paintings of chickens is his own way to celebrate the New Year of the Rooster.

He recently granted an interview to Nhan Dan in relation to an exhibition featuring his paintings of chickens.

Q: Could you tell us about your paintings of chickens?

A: I would like to invite you all to visit Hanoi Creative City at No.1 Luong Yen Street to enjoy my paintings of chickens. The exhibition is my own special way to welcome in the Lunar New Year, as part of the Domino Art Fair.

Q: Could you talk more about the reason for this special event?

A: This Lunar New Year is the Year of the Rooster. Thinking back to the painting I created depicting a couple of Ga Dong Cao (Dragon chickens) that I painted when I was seven, I was inspired to put on this exhibition. The Dong Cao chicken has an eye-catching appearance, the hens of this breed always look silly with their over-sized and awkward feet which often break eggs while running around.

When I was young, I lived at No.6 Ha Hoi Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. My neighbour was a football player from Hung Yen Province – the home to the Dong Cao chicken breed and he raised a couple himself. I liked them so much that I drew numerous paintings of them and I named my paintings ‘A couple of silly chickens’.

I submitted one of these paintings to the 1958 International Junior Painting Contest and Exhibition in the UK and it won the gold prize.

Q: Have chickens been a special subject for paintings during your career?

A: I often paint chickens not only due to the deep sentiment and attachment I have to them but also because of their beautiful shape. There are also hundreds of chicken breeds including Dong Cao, the fighting cock and a smaller breed of chicken that I often paint.

It has been 60 years since I drew the painting ‘A couple of chickens’ which won a prestigious prize. I wanted to draw a series of paintings on chickens, so 60 paintings have been unveiled on January 20.

Q: How long did it take you to produce these paintings?

A: Although I was very busy at the time, I spent three weeks completing the project for this special time of year.

Q: Did you feel hesitant about drawing 60 different paintings of the same theme?

A: Initially, I intended to paint around 100 paintings and select the best 60. I was aware that it would be very boring if I created 60 paintings of the same theme, language and style.
It is very difficult to draw different chickens with unique features and style in order to attract visitors to enjoy all of the paintings. To do that, it is essential to have a creative capacity as well as a serious working spirit.

Q: What message do you wish to convey through this set of paintings?

A: For many artists, including myself, subjects are only ways to show our shaping ability in the fine arts. Therefore, chickens in my paintings also experience sadness, happiness, joy of family and emotions just as humans do. This species of poultry is also considered as a symbol of the happiness and gathering as well as an everlasting quality.

Q: What do you wish for in the Year of the Rooster?

A: I hope that this Year of Rooster will be a happy and warm year for all families in particular and our country in general. The country will continue to face numerous difficulties and challenges, but with the spirit of solidarity, people will overcome them to gain more achievements.

Thank you very much and happy new year to you and your family!

Painter Thanh Chuong (Credit:

The painting on a couple of Ga Dong Cao