This is the piece I made last semester (Fall 2017) for my 2D design class. The piece is called “Fo’ Wishes Cat” which is inspired by Dong Ho Woodcut Painting Series (Vietnamese traditional painting series from Dong Ho Village). The piece represents the traditional ideal of a lucky new year and morality of life in Vietnamese culture. Fo’ Wishes Cat does not only show the appreciation toward Vietnamese culture, but also opposes the idea of what is luck and what is bad luck through the present of the Black Cat (believed to be “bad sign” in Asian culture).
Through out my life, I have experienced a lot of difficulty in taking pride in my culture due to the country’s conflicts. Through the process of making this piece, I felt more attached to my heritage and took more pride in my culture.
The theme of Fo’ Wishes Cat is moral folktales. With 4 panels, each panel represents a Vietnamese Folktale about Eminence, Prosperity, Longevity, and Benevolence. The cat represent the faith holder (the people). Each animal represents the “faith” and morality. For example, the “Benevolence” panel (Cat holds Frog) is an iconography of the ancient folk poetry about respecting the Gods through a humble, ordinary animal.