Artist Nguyen Tan Phat welcomes 2023 with 2,023 feline statuettes
PSNews – On the occasion of Lunar New Year (the Year of the Cat), artist Nguyen Tan Phat held an unique exhibition, showcasing 2,023 feline statuettes, meticulously crafted from jackfruit wood and covered with lacquer, or from laterite, the indigenous materials of the artist’s hometown.
The witty and playful cat, the Oriental zodiac animal of the upcoming Lunar New Year, the Year of the Cat, festival in Vietnamese culture, has become the inspiration for a new collection of lacquer works by sculptor Nguyen Tan Phat from Duong Lam Ancient Village on the outskirts of Hanoi.
The collection includes 2,023 feline statuettes, meticulously crafted from jackfruit wood and covered with lacquer, or from laterite, the indigenous materials of the artist’s hometown.
This is Phat's third unique collection of artworks inspired by symbolic animals of the lunar calendar. Before the cat collection, he made 1,010 buffalo statues on the occasion of the 1,010th anniversary of Hà Nội in 2021, and 2,022 small tigers to welcome 2022, the Year of the Tiger.
The special feature of the collections is uniqueness – no item looks alike. In his latest collection, the cats are depicted in various positions that showcase their cuteness and playfulness, chasing each other, teasing a mouse, sunbathing on house roofs or climbing trees.
Phat wishes to promote the values of Vietnamese traditional lacquer craft and culture via unique manners.
Interestingly, the cat artworks could have different functions. Besides being decorative items, they can be used as a box, a flower vase, or a tea tray, making images of the animal dearer to art lovers.
"I have come up with many unique cat figures and positions, but I have been most impressed with the image of cats playing in the sun. That explains why I have created many decorative items depicting cats playing around."
The most impressive and sophisticated work in Phat's feline collection is a set of chairs with different colours and a fish-shaped table, which he has named Bua Tiec Ngay Xuan (A Spring Feast). Patterns inspired by Vietnamese folk art and tales like Dam Cuoi Chuot (Mice's Wedding) or Chu Be Om Meo (Boy Hugs Cat) are used to decorate the chairs.
Phat shared that: "The set showcases the meal of a cat family celebrating a new year. It aims to deliver my wish of a joyful party for every Vietnamese family in 2023, just like these witty and lively cats".