Zó Artist – Inspirational Designs from a Swedish Painter

At Zó Project, we feel grateful when we meet people who want to support our  mission of reviving traditional Vietnamese handmade dó paper. 

While local Vietnamese artists have been drawn to this 800-year-old paper, Zó also has had the privilege to develop relationships with artists around the world. These artists are fascinated by the significance of our project, and they are impressed by the distinctive features of dó paper. Not all foreign artists know this traditional paper, but when they discover it through Zó Project, many cannot resist its unique characteristics. Swedish artist Sofia Holt, a friend collaborator with Zó, is no exception.

Sofia was born in the countryside of Sweden with artistic parents, a big brother and an orange cat. For her, hand crafts,  creativity and innovation has always  been central elements in her life. She has always taken time out of each day to devote to creating something, even if only a small sketch or a chair built in the workshop. She loves to explore new places and learn about new cultures, and she often relies on nature to feel alive. This is the reason she visited Vietnam where she found out about Zó Project. 

The goal with Sofia’s designs is to support and encourage sustainability, equality, human rights and creativity. Today, it is easy for anyone to print art on paper on a massive scale, a production method that uses large amounts of paper. Sofia feels it is better for the environment to support hand craft and small scale productions rather than large, industrial productions. When choosing how to print her own artwork, she decided to support Zó Project because of her impression of  the dó paper. She liked the paper’s fibrous, structured surface and the fact that every sheet of paper looks unique.

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Postcards and poster with Sofia’s Painting

Concept behinds her works

Sofia said that when she creates art for others, she often uses a lot of colors and humor. She  wants to convey happiness and positivity, and she also hopes to bring laughter. She thinks that people are interesting and that it’s beautiful that everyone has their own personalities, stories and lives.

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Her feeling when she is drawing 

“I have done part of the art with laughter. Sometimes I feel a strong need to just grab a pen and let anything pop up. It’s fun, and sometimes I’m surprised about what appears on the paper. Another part of the art was done when I thought about the people I met or saw that inspired me during different times of my life. I hope that you who see my pictures will also be inspired.”

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