Creating a painting on the theme of 12 zodiac sign is said to be a challenge for many generations of Vietnamese artists every spring. Such paintings are often created at the end of the old year, during which the artist will paint the zodiac sign of the upcoming year to convey their wishes and hopes for new year.

Two months ahead the lunar New Year festival 2021 – the Year of the Buffalo, many artists have posted their works featuring the buffalo on social network and their personal Facebook pages, including Le Tri Dung, Nguyen Thi Mai, Tao Linh and Lam Thanh.

Others gather in groups to show off their works to their friends and art colleagues. Members of Ca Phe Bui (Street Coffee) group, which is comprised of seven veteran artists, partnered with two other clubs, Son Tay Fine Arts Club and the Mach Ngam group, to host a joint event in mid-December 2020 at Son Tay Ancient Citadel in the outskirts of Hanoi to create artworks on the theme of the buffalo.

The event has been held since 2016, the Year of the Rooster. In 2017, the Year of the Dog, the artists’ paintings were introduced to visitors at an exhibition at the Hanoi Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Centre, 50 Dao Duy Tu Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

“It is interesting that we have never ever run out of ideas nor creativity while working with the signs of zodiac,” said Kieu Hai, a member of the Street Coffee group.

The theme of zodiac signs provides an opportunity for artists to review their art activities throughout the year and challenge themselves with a theme that never gets old.