Grains of Joy
An illustration for a silk scarf collection commissioned by FOLKSIGHT, a designer scarf brand. Their main focus is on fashion and lifestyle products that have storytelling elements coming from Vietnamese heritage.
The celebration of the harvest season of the Tay ethnic minority in northwest Vietnam is depicted in FOLKSIGHT's autumn design of 2021 - the year of the Buffalo. A gentle and hardworking animal, the buffalo is associated with the lives of villagers and a symbol of wet-rice culture. Not only having an important role in economic development, the buffalo is also associated with the culture and beliefs of the Tay and Nung people. The ritual of worshiping the buffalo takes place every year to give thanks to the buffalo god and the field god.
This illustration tells the story of sacred paddy fields. Made from hundreds of rice plants, the magical buffalos fly and dance with joy from Heaven, while on Earth, the Tay villagers are appreciating their lives on paddy fields. All rice grains in the artwork are individually painted with three to four shades of yellow, while the plant's leaves are sculptured to form the shapes of the animal. The paddy staircases are positioned at 4 corners of the square composition, hugging the wonderful land.