This is the Year of the Cat.
According to the Vietnamese calendar, 2023 is the Year of the Chat, starting on 22 January 2023 and ending on 9 February 2024. Everywhere else in sinicised Asia, it is the Year of the Rabbit.
The zodiac calendars of Vietnam and China are very similar, but differ on two points: in the Vietnamese calendar the buffalo replaces the Chinese ox, and similarly, the Vietnamese cat replaces the Chinese rabbit.
To celebrate the 2023 lunar new year, Vietnamese American artist Giang Dinh has created a series of sublime works using coffee, tea and ink on ARCHES® Aquarelle Rough paper.
The Cat and the Square © Giang Dinh
The Monk Cat © Giang Dinh
Giang Dinh is also a great origamist with a pared-down style whose favourite themes – which we find here – are “dreamers”, semi-abstract characters who communicate strong emotions through the language of silence, and animals.
For him, origami is like a Haiku: a few words can mean so many things.
The cat and its CP
born from and come back to
beginning / end
yin – yang
in the same square piece of paper
* CP = crease pattern. If you unfold the cat on the upper right corner, you will see the lines on the white square at the lower left corner. Or you can fold the white square into another cat.
2023 – Year of the Cat cards © Giang Dinh
Cat 3 – © Giang Dinh
“I think I have a special connection with cats. When we still lived in Vietnam, my family had two (mother and child) cats and they were very attached to us.
The image of cats since then still follows me and they appear in the Lunar New Year cards that I send to relatives and friends. And, of course, in origami.
I have designed more cats than any other of my origami animals. I made my first origami cats in 2004. And ever since they still come out of the paper (after dreaming a long dream, when inspiration comes, when a piece of paper agrees to play with me).
This year is the Year of the Cat. The world has changed a lot in recent years, epidemics, wars, devastating natural disasters. So the cat has prayed for a peaceful world, even though I know its prayer is too little and too fragile…”