Stamps and postcards Saigon’s past
Images of Ho Chi Minh City’s history are on show at a stamp and postcard exhibition at the Southeastern Armed Forces Museum.
Over 150 collections containing 4,100 stamps and postcards, capturing the scenery and people of Ho Chi Minh City throughout its history, are being exhibited to celebrate the 315th founding anniversary of Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City (1698-2013).
Collections have been drawn from all over Vietnam including HCMC, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Vinh Long, Thai Binh, Lam Dong and An Giang provinces.
The exhibition also features stamps and postcards on other topics including the art of tuong, a type of Vietnamese opera.
The exhibition runs until December 14.
Indian artist’s ‘Global Parasites’ lecture at Hoa Sen Uni
Nalini Malani, a renowned artist from India, will become the fourth speaker to take part in Encounter – a lecture program which is part of the ‘Conscious Realities’ series – at Hoa Sen University in HCMC on December 10 and 13.
The idea of ‘Global Parasites’ will be investigated through the presentation of Malani’s artwork and research. She will discuss her performance work, beginning with her documentary ‘Cassandra’s Gift’ at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in Room NZ0204 at the university and the impact of research for ‘Global Parasite’ by unpacking subjects in her paintings at 6 p.m. on December 13 at Room NZ0903 at the university, 8 Nguyen Van Trang Street in District 1.
Malani, born in 1946, is the recipient of the 2013 Fukuoka Art & Culture Prize. As a multimedia artist whose practice encompasses drawing, painting, projected animation, video and film, she is committed to the role of the artist as social activist. Her work is often based on the stories of those that have been ignored, forgotten or marginalized by history.
Encounter is a three-year cultural lecture series initiated by San Art and presented in partnership with the Tri Viet Centre for Social and Educational Research in HCMC.
‘Conscious Realities’ (2013-2016), seeks to stimulate creative activity in Vietnam, engaging different ideas of contemporary artistic process, consisting of lectures, closed-workshops and an artist-in-residency program. Focusing on the shared cultural histories of Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America and Africa, invited artists and intellectual experts will engage the divergent reactions to these histories and the lessons to be learned in thinking laterally across these creative communities.
Exhibition sheds light on traditional design
The art of architecture and sculpture, as well as local cultural features from communal houses throughout the north of Viet Nam, are being displayed at an exhibition in Ha Noi.
As many as 80 photos of communal houses, built between the 16th and 18th century, feature architectural designs, sculptures and local festivals. Also on display are 15 wooden and plaster copies of decorative sculptures from communal houses, as well as three documentaries on architecture and village festivals make up the exhibition, entitled Culture Space of Communal Houses in Viet Nam’s Northern Delta.
Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to participate in historic cultural activities at the communal houses through observing various objects displayed in the exhibition, such as worshipping the altar of the village’s genie, and through folk songs and music by artists from the Viet Nam Cheo (Traditional Opera) Theatre.
“During the development of modern society, communal houses, where villagers share cultural activities, are losing their roles in today’s communities,” said Le Van Suu, head master of Viet Nam Fine Arts College, “The main reason for this problem lies in people’s lack of awareness, understanding and respect toward the [communal houses] heritage.”
“Such an exhibition is necessary to enhance people’s awareness of the values and readiness to preserve both tangible and intangible cultural values at local communal houses.”
The exhibition is a result of a two-year project carried out by a team of lecturers and students at the college in more than 10 northern and central provinces.
Nguyen Duc Binh, who had earlier participated in the project, told Viet Nam News that he and his friends had learnt much through their field trips.
“We felt regret as many communal houses were encroached upon by surrounding neighborhoods,” he said, “The images of an old banyan tree, a well of fresh water and a large yard at the communal house no longer exist in many villages. At some communal houses, local communities have to build doors to close off communal houses to protect them from encroachment, which breaks up the original architecture of communal houses – as an open building for all people.”
Bui Thi Thanh Mai, who was among the researchers for the project, expressed her sorrow at seeing many communal houses, which were completely new after expensive upgrades, while in contrast, many communal houses are being neglected and falling into disrepair.
Fine arts researcher Nguyen Hai Phong, from the Viet Nam Fine Arts Institute, noted the exhibition’s focus on architecture and sculpture in communal houses, through which all cultural lifestyles and esthetic conceptions of local residents can be understood.
“There is informality, even in the formal worship areas,” he said, “For example, the scene of young men and women flirting with one another in the wooden sculptures. Or you can see a humorous scene of a tiger, who is always hunted by men in some sculptures, watching two men kicking a shuttle cork.”
“It’s good to organise such an exhibition for young urban people, especially foreign people like me,” said Russian researcher Natasha Kraevskaia, who has lived in Viet Nam for more than 20 years, “But I expect more objects from communal houses, like palanquins and statues, to be displayed here so those viewing can imagine life in communal houses in the countryside.”
The exhibition is a part of a project entitled “Research, Collect, Advertise and Bring into Full Play Special Values of Communal Houses Culture Heritage in Viet Nam’s Northern Delta”, which is being held by the Viet Nam Fine Arts College between 2012 and 2013.
The exhibition opens at the college, 42 Yet Kieu Street, Ha Noi, until December 19. Also, a conference on issues of preservation and bringing into full play cultural values of communal houses will be organised at the university tomorrow.
Live rock extravaganza dazzles 10,000 strong crowd in Hue
Vietnamese and foreigners, both on stage and in the audience, have rocked Hue City during the live performance of RockStorm.
At about 6pm on Saturday night, thousands of fans packed the performance platform, set in the centre of the local Tu Do Stadium, while lines of fans continued to pour into the stadium and fill seats.
The rock concert welcomed people of different ages, nationalities, and from all walks of life. Some tens of minutes after the show started, with a kick-off performance by Oringchains, organizers announced that total attendance was 10,000, a remarkable number at a show of noise in a tranquil city.
Shouts from the audience, the burning performance by the bands, and sounds, music and light, vibrated through the city in an evening that many called a “night of full passion”.
“It’s so much fun and I feel a lot of energy. Bustling music and boisterous fans blow away the coldness of the Hue winter, as well as my shyness,” said local resident Quoc Anh.
Others said that the show offered them a great chance to join other fans who also love rock.
Young residents and students at many universities in Hue made up the majority of the audience, as well as hundreds of foreigners who are working in or visiting the city.
“It is an awesome festival with great musicians and we will keep this moment in our minds from this journey,” says Pether Gehrling, a German who is on holiday in Hue. He attended the show with his friends.
On stage, the bands performed in various styles of rock, from rock mixed electro, thrash metal, modern rock, death metal to progressive or hard rock.
Performers also included foreigners, such as Black Infinity, which has a foreign drummer, while Microwave employs a foreign bass guitarist.
The bands performed in order, starting with Oringchains, and followed by Titanium, PAK Band, Black Infinity, Ngu Cung and Microwave. The audience gave the most applause to PAK Band, with songs that mix rock and Vietnamese folk songs, and Microwave, which displayed patriotic themes on the backdrop during their performance.
An animation of Vietnamese mandarins defeating northern invaders was shown, while national flags appeared on the backdrop when Microwave performed.
Also, a photo of General Vo Nguyen Giap was printed on a T-shirt worn by Titanium band’s vocalist during his performance.
Mobile phone carrier Mobifone, organiser of the show that has been touring the country from Hai Phong, Hue and coming to Da Nang, Dong Nai, HCM City, Can Tho and Ha Noi, announced part of ticket revenues is to be donated to Operation Smile programme to pay for cleft palate operations. The remaining money would be used to assist poor students in Hue.
Project Sci-Fi expects 140 film entries
Themes on aliens, robots and time travel dominated the 60 entries by local contestants nationwide for Project: Sci-Fi, a science fiction film-making short contest which was launched in Vietnam two months ago.
Another 80 films are expected to be submitted from the Australian leg of the competition next week.
Western Digital’s Project: Sci-Fi Film Challenge aims to introduce Vietnamese film makers and film audiences to the science fiction film genre. Although science fiction is highly popular and lucrative in the form of films like The Avengers, Transformers and Iron Man which top the charts, Vietnam-based film production companies and directors have not fully embraced it due to low budgets and a lack of good writers and directors for the genre.
“The issue here in Vietnam is that when people think of science fiction films, they only consider the multi-million dollar blockbusters made in Hollywood. The reality is that there are commercially viable lower-budget sci-fi films that are made throughout the world and are still popular with general audiences,” said Ross Stewart, creative director of Cloud 9 Production – the producers of Project: Sci-Fi and the 48 Hour Film Project Vietnam.
Local audiences in Vietnam will have the chance to see Project: Sci-Fi Films on Yan TV’s website at http://scifi.yan.vn and vote for their favorite films from tomorrow until December 27. The films follow four main themes – Everyday life, Environment, Networking & Connections and High Technology.
During this screening period, a panel of guest judges which include local directors, Nguyen Quang Dung and Bui Thac Chuyen and international film/TV producer Andrew Cosby, will nominate their choices for the award ceremony.
Electronic night with percussionist Burkhard Beins
German percussionist Burkhard Beins will join the Hanoi New Music Festival with three galas in Hanoi involving both solo and joint performances. First up is ‘New Meets Old – Evening of Percussion’ tomorrow, then comes ‘The Rest Is Noise – Electronic Music, Solos of different musicians’ on Saturday and ‘Being together – Improvisationskonzert’ on Sunday.
Born in 1964 in Lower Saxony, Beins has lived in Berlin since 1995. He is well-known for his use of percussion combined with selected objects and his work with electronics, electro-acoustic instruments and devices.
The first night will be hosted at 7:30 p.m. at the Youth Theater, 11 Ngo Thi Nham Street while the second night takes place at 9:30 p.m. at Tadioto on the second floor at House A, 9 Tran Thanh Tong Street. The last show will be held at 8 p.m. at the Youth Theater.
*Joyful compositions of Bach, Praetorius, Pachelbel and renowned Christmas songs to sing along to will be staged at the ‘Christmas Concert’ in Hanoi and Haiphong on Friday and Saturday respectively, according to the Goethe Institute.
Singers from the International Choir and young musicians from Hanoi will thrill audiences in the build-up to Christmas with familiar songs such as Joy to the world, We wish you a merry Christmas, O come all ye faithful and Jingle Bells, and Violinkonzert a-Moll, Bist du bei mir, Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor, Ave Maria by Bach, Gespräch der Hirten zu Bethlehem by Michael Praetorius and O Tannenbaum, O Little Town of Bethlehem and Stille Nacht.
The concert will take place at the Courtyard of the Goethe Institute at 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street in Hanoi and at Haiphong Opera House at 17 Tran Hung Dao Street in Haiphong City. Admission is free and tickets can be collected at the venues.
HB Wild heats up Club 9 in Grand-Ho Tram Strip
International band HB Wild are the new residents at Club 9 of The Grand-Ho Tram Strip in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
The six-person ensemble are bringing world-class entertainment to Vietnam’s first fully integrated resort.
Leading HB Wild is bass player, singer, actor and producer, Henri Brown (HB). HB is a cousin of Jimi Hendrix and son of Music Hall of Fame inductee Eleanor Collins.
Jamming with HB is singer Colette Neil and guitarist Ryan Carrol who are both Scottish, saxophonist Shaun Thomas from Toronto, drummer Josh Carlsen from Vancouver, and finally Stan Ganapolsky on the keyboard.
“HB Wild is a motley crew of talented and versatile musicians who cover everything from rock to funk, pop, jazz and soul. They have performed at some of the best integrated resorts in the world – most recently in Macau. We are very excited to bring the Wild party to Vietnam and turn up the heat at Club 9,” said John Webb, vice president of hospitality at The Grand-Ho Tram Strip, in a statement.
HB Wild will be playing at Club 9 weekly from Tuesdays through to Sunday nights. At the club guests can experience the nightlife essence of Las Vegas on the Ho Tram Strip with some interesting drink promotions.
The Grand-Ho Tram Strip is Vietnam’s first large scale integrated resort and includes an 1,100-room five-star hotel, a world-class casino, restaurants, high-tech meeting space, a VIP area, as well as a variety of beach-front recreation activities. The first 541-room tower of this development opened in July with its entertainment area including 90 live tables and 614 electronic game positions. The second 559-room tower is on track to open in 2015. The Grand will be the initial component of The Ho Tram Strip, the largest integrated resort complex in Vietnam.
It is located at Phuoc Thuan Commune, Xuyen Moc District, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, tel: 064 3788 888.
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