Ninh Thuan to host Sea Village Festival
The Vietnam Sea Village Festival with the theme ‘Ninh Thuan – A Destination for Vietnamese Sea Culture’ will take place in the central coastal province of Ninh Thuan from August 1-4.
This was announced on July 21 at a press conference in Ninh Thuan held by the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The festival will involve more than 1,000 folk artists, actors and actresses from south central coastal cities and provinces including Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Ba Ria – Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh City.
The event will feature a wide range of activities promoting tourism in the province and the region such as a folk art festival, a sea sports contest, a food festival, an exhibition, as well as cultural exchanges.
Bestselling memoir’s pictures on display in Hanoi
The Japan Foundation and Nha Nam Publishing House are to showcase a collection of water-colored illustrations for Japan’s bestselling childhood memoir “Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window” from next week in Hanoi.
Titled “Chihiro & Totto-chan”, the exhibition will feature 30 artwork pieces by Iwasaki Chihiro, an accomplished Japanese female painter whose works mainly centered on children and their life.
Chihiro passed away in 1974, five years before her 7,000 remaining paintings and illustrations of children were selected to illustrate “Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window” by its author, Kuroyanagi Tetsuko.
Narrating the author’s childhood memory during World War II at Tomoe Gakuen, a Tokyo elementary school where unconventional education was conducted, the memoir has been an all-time bestseller in Japan with more than 7.6 million copies sold and translated into 35 languages.
Chihiro’s illustrations are considered essential to the book’s domestic and worldwide popularity.
The exhibition will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Japanese publication of “Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window” and the launch of its Vietnamese version (directly translated from Japanese) by Nha Nam Publishing House.
Special Vietnamese “Totoo-chan” with the author’s autograph will be presented to lucky visitors during the exhibition.
It opens at 10am on August 2 and will remain open until August 31 at the Japan Foundation Center for Cultural Exchange in Vietnam, 27 Quang Trung, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
Admission is free.
New art show seeks to give draftmanship its due
A group exhibition titled ”Shaping a line” by eight local and international artists will be held at Ho Chi Minh City’s San Art Gallery from July 28 to September 8.
The exhibition will feature art works – sketches and notebook sketches by Vu Dan Tan, Nguyen Bao Ngoc, Sita Raiter, Le Thanh Tung, Phan Ngoc Lan Chi, Sandrine Llouquet, Le Hoang Bich Phuong, and Nguyen Duc Hong Quang.
The art works use nature, fashion, architecture, opera, urban life and the graphic novel as conduits for their creations.
According to San Art, the exhibition seeks to elevate the skills of the draughtsman to a local audience because these are typically relegated as something for an understudy, casting efforts aside as objects for preparation.
San Art Gallery is located at 3 Me Linh St., Binh Thanh District.
For more information, please visit www.san-art.org.
Anti-play set to ’offend’ Hanoians
On the last three days of July, the Hanoi International Theatre Society (HITS) will present “Offending the Audience,” an anti-play by Austrian dramatist Peter Handke.
According to HITS, the play aims to challenge “the idea of the world of the theater and theatergoers and encourage audiences to go to the theater more often with a new consciousness, and discover new charms of the hosting venues.”
The play will open at 8 p.m. on July 29 at the courtyard of the Hanoi Cooking Centre/Bookworm (44 Chau Long). Wine and dinner will be served before the show.
The night after, also at 8 p.m., “Offending the Audience” will be the inaugural theater performance at the latest venue in town – The Hanoi Social Club (6 Hoi Vu).
Already famous for their delicious and healthy food and drink options, the Hanoi Social Club will serve dinner before and after the show.
The cast will “offend” customers at the Puku cafe (16 Tong Duy Tan) at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 31, with the “audience part of time in a theater space, watching sundown and darkness slowly drape themselves around the city.
Tickets are available at the Hanoi Cooking Centre/Bookworm, the Hanoi Social Club and Puku cafe for VND100,000.
Profit from the event will be used to set up a fund supporting local community theater productions and local scriptwriters.
For more information, visit www.hitshanoi.com, Hanoi International Theatre Society’ Facebook Page, Hanoi Grapevine or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HITS, founded in 2001, is a non-profit group that brings together theater enthusiasts and those keen to ‘dabble’ in theatre to explore creative expression and drama as both a leisure and community development activity.
The group now regularly commands audiences of nearly 1000 people over the course of a show.
HCMC exhibits photos on old Saigon
An outdoor photo exhibition showcasing Ho Chi Minh City at the end of 19th century to the early 20th century has been opened on the backyard of the Ho Chi Minh City Museum since Friday.
More than 60 photographs and many paintings depicting architectural landscapes, art, lifestyle and daily activities of an old Saigon are on display at the exhibit.
Named “Saigon xua” or “The old Saigon”, it is held at the backyard of the city museum where a special outdoor exhibition area has just been set up to accommodate more events like this in the future.
It will remain open until the end of August at Ho Chi Minh City Museum at 86 bis Le Thanh Ton, District 1, HCMC.
Vietnam circus hits stage in Paris
Since last June, Vietnam Circus Association and the French ScÃ¨ne de la Terre Association have been holding more than 20 circus shows at the Grande Halle theatre (Paris) which will last until the end of this month.
Called “Lang toi” or “My village”, these shows introduced about the Vietnamese culture at its root, using the language of circus and theatre to depict Vietnam’s peaceful and traditional country life.
“My village” was a hit at its native country three years ago, when its premier show at the Hanoi Opera House stirred much attention and excitement from the public who then rarely saw circus performed in such a different manner.
Adopting a modern performing method, the act does not purely showcase acrobatic techniques but put them into a scripted performance with a storyline, music and changing stage decoration to add to the effects.
The stage of “My village” is not lighted colorfully, but subdued with a brown color tone, and the music comes from excerpts of many of the country’s traditional folk songs.
The current “Lang toi” now on stage in Paris is a newer version of the 2008 show; though what has made the original version stand out in Vietnam’s circus scene has still been kept.
Bamboo, a popular image usually associated with Vietnam’s peaceful villages, is the main inspiration and highlight of the whole act as it is used mainly in acrobatic stunts and to decorate the stage.
Le Tuan, one of the show’s directors who now lives and works in Berlin said by using bamboo, he wanted young Vietnamese living overseas to remember their roots and to introduce Vietnamese culture to the world.
Since 2008, Tuan and his colleagues have brought the show to many countries, from the US, the UK to European countries to portray Vietnam’s images through the art.
“Foreign audience will definitely know more about Vietnam’s traditional culture, its music and nature,”
“We hope, they can understand more about us and treasure the country and its people”, Tuan said.
Jean Luc Larguier, director of the ScÃ¨ne de la Terre Association said this is an opportunity for Vietnam’s circus to improve its standard.
“It is also a challenge to change international community’s view toward Vietnamese circus”, he said.
Hanoi exhibition showcases satirical paintings
Around 100 paintings satirical contemporary Vietnamese society is being exhibited at Art Exhibition House at 16 Ngo Quyen Street in Hanoi.
The paintings, which have been created by painters across the country, address a wide range of topics from corruption, traffic safety, urban planning, environment, education, to food safety and lifestyle.
“Satirical paintings do not change the world, but they help fight for a better world,” said painter Ly Truc Dung, who is showcasing his works at the exhibition.
The exhibition will be closed on August 5 with a meeting between painters and visitors.
Traditional folk games attract children in HCM
Around 850 children from culture houses across the south showed up on the first day of a 2-day puppet and folk game festival that started yesterday in Ho Chi Minh City.
Organized by the HCMC Pioneers’ Organization, the event is taking place at the city’s Children House at 169 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street in District 3.
New measurement shows national park smaller than recorded
A ministerial-level development plan for Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai Province has put its total area at 71,350 ha rather than the 73, 878 ha recorded in another government document in 1988.
Tran The Lien, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the ministry had measured the whole park in its current stage to draw up the 10-year plan. “The part thus can’t be said to have lost any part of its land.”
Lien said that one cause of the number difference is that the ministry left out parts of the Strictly Protected Section which are environmentally affected.
Cat Tien National Park has one of the largest areas of lowland tropical rainforests left in Vietnam and is home to rare and endangered species such as Javan Rhinoceros, golden-cheeked gibbons, or black-shanked doucs.
It was recognized as UNESCO’s biosphere reserves in 2001.
Oldies help keep folk music alive
Three times a week, inhabitants of the Thai Binh Hamlet of the northern province of Tuyen Quang flock to the local cultural house to enjoy then singing, part of Tay ethnic religious music.
Over the past 10 years, the performance group has not only helped preserve the national tradition, but also contributed to its popularisation.
According to leader Chu Thi Tuyet, the group currently attracts around 20 members aged around 70. Although busy with house and field work, the women still find time to gather every week in order to practise new songs.
“I have performed then singing for 12 years. In spite of my old age, I love taking part in group activities. I would like to pass the tradition on to my descendants,” said Trieu Thi Phuong, one of the group’s founding members.
At first, only Tay people took part in the singing, but now even the Kinh are involved.
“In my childhood, I listened to so many beautiful songs, but could never understand the words. Learning the Tay language took some time, and thanks to my fellow group members, I can now sing a variety of songs,” said Nguyen Thi Lai.
Chu Thi Tuyen often watches the group practise and perform.
“When my mother-in-law first invited me to join the group, I knew next to nothing about the Tay language or then singing. Now I can’t wait to get to practise,” Tuyen said.
The group has started up three additional free classes, which have attracted 30 new students.
“I would love to open more classes and pass along our traditions to the youth,” Tuyet said.
Then singing, also popular in other northern provinces such as Cao Bang, Bac Can, Thai Nguyen and Ha Giang, combines music, gestures and tinh instrument playing and used to be reserved for important events such as birth celebrations, crop blessings and village festivals.
Sai Gon streetlife booklets published
Three booklets on HCM City’s streetlife have just been released by the Writer’s Association Publishing House and Phuong Nam Book.
The booklets, titled Sai Gon Sau Man Bui (Sai Gon Behind the Screen of Dust), Hem Pho Thong Ra The Gioi (Small Lane Opening to the World) and Ngon Vi Nho (Delicious Food as It is Remembered), cover the city’s streetlife, with simple foods, cafes, shops and a popular lane where residents of a Cambodian origin settled in the 1970s.
An English version of the set will be available by the end of this year.
Members of the public can also contribute to the booklets with their thoughts on the city. Contributions should be sent to 496 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 3, HCM City or via email to email@example.com.
Ancient burial site found in central region
A burial site dating back to around the 16th-17th century has been discovered in the central province of Ha Tinh’s Loc Ha District.
Two coffins, still intact, and made of black wood carved from tree trunks, were unearthed while local people were digging an irrigation canal.
Inside the coffins, scientists found two fine ceramic jars in white measuring 40cm by 25cm and weighing 3kg, and two ceramic bowls with Chinese characters on the base.
The jars have been identified as 15th century and the bowls as of 16th century origin.
Photograph of singers, musician win award
A black and white photo of two veteran ca tru singers and a musician by journalist Tran Viet Van was awarded first prize at a recent photography contest on Viet Nam’s world heritage.
The photo, along with 15 others, will be exhibited at Da Nang’s Fine Arts Museum between August 30 and September 6 and Ha Noi’s Exhibition House between October 10 and 17.
During the course of the competition, more than 2,000 photos were submitted.
Vietnamese, S Korean youth discuss climate change
Vietnamese and South Korean students yesterday held a meeting in Ha Noi to exchange and share experiences in fighting climate change in the two countries.
Through music, games and presentations, the meeting was aimed at creating a network among Vietnamese and South Korean youths who are called the Green Generation. On the occasion, the young people also had the chance to facilitate cultural exchange.
The Green Generation network connects youth organisations and individuals who share climate concerns and are willing to learn and take action for a sustainable way of life.