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project. Đông Hồ: The sound of colours

date. September 2017

site.  Ho Chi Minh City

collaborator. Fablab Saigon


I designed a hands-on, interactive exploration into Đông Hồ village's 500-year-old printmaking craft, with creative use of technologies to recreate the unique sounds from Đông Hồ that had until now, only stayed within the village. 


Here's the magic: As a woodblock touches an ink when printing, there comes a sound creating that colour - the sound of leaves, the sound of a hammer hitting red earth, of seashells and more. This is possible with an electronic setup comprising of a Makey Makey derivative and a DFPlayer MP3 Mini Module.


In making their woodblock print, not only can participants see Đông Hồ's five characteristic colours, traditionally made with natural materials such as leaves, rocks and seashells, they also get to hear the sounds from the artisanal process of making such colours. Those sounds, once available only to those lucky enough to visit the village, can now be experienced from far away. The result is a multi-dimensional cultural experience, inviting visual, tactile as well as auditory senses of the viewer.

Find out more about Đông Hồ village's printmaking craft here:

Project 01
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