Art & Entertainment News 26/7

Madame Nguyen Thi Binh’s memoir translated into English

After its debut to the public 3 years ago, Madame Nguyen Thi Binh’s memoir has been translated by US writer Lady Borton and will be introduced to an international audience at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

The autobiography entitled “Family, Friends, and Country” is a collection of memoirs by Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, born 1927, who led the Vietnamese negotiating team at the Paris Peace Accord which was signed in 1973.

She was the first Foreign Minister of Vietnam and then served as Vice President from 1992 to 2002.

Her collection of memoirs is considered a tribute to her comrades and folks who laid down their lives in the national resistance wars to liberate and reunite Vietnam, as well as international friends who supported Vietnam during those wars.

Dream comes true for musician Le Minh Son

A new reality music show will be aired on VTV1 from August 1.

Du Ca Viet (Music Journey) is directed by musician Le Minh Son, who is also the presenter.

"The show is a dream come true after travelling a lot through Viet Nam," said Son.

"Many shows are produced following foreign formats, but I think we need to produce more shows featuring traditional Vietnamese music," he said.

Son has visited each of the country's 63 cities and provinces at least three times to gain a more profound understanding of folk music.

The show records the journey of well-known singers through Viet Nam with free music shows held for local people with the aim of discovering local talents.

The first show will be broadcast at 10.30am on August 1, and will feature a blind couple from Na Ri District in the northern province of Bac Kan who sing in the street every day to earn money.

"The wife has an emotional voice and a dream of performing with singer Viet Hoan," said Son.

The reality show aims to inspire people and gives them a chance to meet their favourite singers and to perform on stage.

Book reprinted to mark late musician's birthday

Autobiography of Professor Tran Van Khe, one of the greatest masters of Vietnamese traditional music, who passed away 24th June, has been reprinted for the sixth time to commemorate his birthday on July 24th.

Tri Viet Book Company, which published the book Nhung cau chuyen tu trai tim (Stories from the heart) in 2010 on the occasion of his 90th birthday has sold out more than 15,000 copies through five reprinting times.

The new edition is included updated information written during the last years of his life. During years of his life, the musicologist not only contributes the life the immense materials about culture, traditional music, but experience he learned during his life, according to the company.

In the new book, what he wrote during the last days of his life was put in a new chapter "Important choices in my life".

In just 12,000 words, he listed 11 most decisive choices that makes his life and career. He wrote that every person has different life situation, job, personality, so life of them is not the same. People with will or courage can make their-own decision for their life and future.

Life of Professor Tran Van Khe, an interesting journey with up and down, knew Vietnamese traditional music very early and underwent numerous challenges that prevent him from pursuing his love for the music.

In the book, he recalls his childhood in Vinh Kim Village in Mekong Delta's Tien Giang Province. Having lost both parents, he went abroad and promote Vietnamese traditional music around the globe.

Kite Festival to kick off in Yen So Park

At least a 1,000 kite enthusiasts from Vietnam and abroad are expected to partake in the first kite festival at Yen So Park – Hanoi Kite Festival 2015 – on July 26 and show off their kite flying skills.

Kite lovers from clubs in Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, Hai Phong and Nam Dinh will also fill the skyline with their colourful creations, organizers of the event have announced.

At the event, a bevy of activities are planned including a kite exhibition, kite flying contests, kite making classes, kite selling vendor stalls, folk games stations, and food and beverage stalls.

In short, a little bit of something for the whole family to enjoy say the organizers.

The festival, co-organized by the Vietnamese Kite Cultural Heritage Conservation Centre and Gamuda Land Vietnam Co. Ltd, aims to honour the kite making and kite flying arts as a special culture in the country.

Vietnamese expats promotes regional culture connection in Argentina

The Asian Culture House of an overseas Vietnamese has been inaugurated in Buenos Aires, aiming at promoting exchanges of culture, trade, and education between Asian communities and Argentina.

At the ceremony on July 24, Argentina’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Eduardo Zuain highlighted the government’s policy to expand all-around cooperation with Asian nations within the South-South partnership framework.

He underlined Asia’s potential and called for stronger cooperation in different channels, including people-to-people diplomacy in bid to fully tap the potential and further tighten friendship.

The Deputy Minister also affirmed the support the host government will provide for the activities held by the House in the future.

Pham Lien, executive manager of the House, said the house is expected to bring together people from different cultures closer for the common wealth of the nations.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Nguyen Dinh Thao hailed the contributions the overseas Vietnamese community has made to fostering cooperation between the two countries.

He expressed the support for the initiative as well as other activities conducted by the community to better integrate into the local society.

He affirmed that the Party and the State always consider overseas Vietnamese community as an indispensible part of the nation.-

Thanh Hoa province prepares for ASEAN traditional music festival

The 2015 ASEAN traditional music festival, which will take place in the central province of Thanh Hoa from August 1-6, will feature ten art troupes from ASEAN state members and the Republic of Korea.

The information was announced by Pham Dinh Thang, Deputy Head of the Performing Arts Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism during a press conference held in Hanoi on July 24.

Thang highlighted that the event embodies the theme of “Connecting World Heritages”, as part of the National Tourism programme to popularise Vietnam’s cultural values and destinations among domestic and international tourists.

Artists attending the festival will deliver 90-minute art performances to audiences at Lam Son theatre free-of-charge, including solos, musical ensembles and folk performances.

The festival, the first of its kind in Vietnam, presents a good opportunity for artists to exchange experiences and glimpse the quintessence of the regional traditional music while deepening relations and solidarity among ASEAN countries towards the establishment of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year.

Other art programmes celebrating the August Revolution and National Day are also scheduled next month. About 2,500 artists are expected to take part in a meeting and parade on September 2 in Hung Vuong Street to honour and feature national cultural achievements and historical milestones.

Preparations for ASEAN-Japan TV Festival in Sept discussed

About 50 representatives from ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretariat and Japan gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 24 to discuss preparations for the 2015 ASEAN-Japan TV Festival in September this year.

At the meeting, delegates approved the festival’s agenda and logo and discussed logistics and several related issues.

The ASEAN-Japan TV Festival will be organised from September 9-12 in Kuala Lumpur by the Radio Television Malaysia (RTM), Ministry of Communication and Multimedia of Malaysia and Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

It aims to promote local programmes, share experiences, introduce new technologies and connect and initiate ideas for future cooperation between ASEAN countries and Japan in the broadcasting industry.

The event will have three tracks – an ASEAN-Japan dialogue to promote shows and TV series produced locally to showcase new technologies and initiate cooperation between the two sides’ TV stations; an exhibition and transmission of selected TV programmes; and a public event.

Each country will host a stand at the festival to promote their image and introduce local TV programmes via books and photos to the public.

Cultural activity marks HCM City-Busan friendship

A series of cultural and art activities were arranged during “Busan Day 2015” in Ho Chi Minh City on July 24 as part of events to mark 20 years of friendship and cooperation between Busan city of the Republic of Korea (RoK) and HCM City.

In his opening speech, Mayor of Busan Suh Byung Soo affirmed that relations between the two cities continue to develop and strengthen.

The event is expected to tighten ties between the two sides and enhance cultural exchanges between their people, he said, adding that Busan’s leaders will do their utmost to elevate the relationship.

According to Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan, the two cities have cooperated closely in organising practical activities to foster links in investment, trade, education-training and science-technology.

He said he hopes the event will bring the two cities’ people closer, promoting the friendship between Vietnam and the RoK.

The event offered local residents and visitors a chance to enjoy traditional RoK dishes, music and folk games. An exhibition introducing Busan images was held in the framework of the day.

Gay pride documentaries to be shown in Zanzibar

A documentary depicting the first two gay-pride parades in Ha Noi in 2012 and 2013, known as Viet Pride, and other compelling stories from the LGBT community, will premiere at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), East Africa's largest film, music and arts festival.

Directed by Vincent Baumont, Red over the Rainbow is one of 27 documentaries that will be screened at the festival, which runs from July 18-26.

The film depicts milestones achieved by the LGBT community, and profiles members of the community from different generations, genders and backgrounds who are united in building a strong and proud community.

The film also sheds light on the challenges and stigma that LGBT people face in Viet Nam at a time when the economy is growing at a fast pace and many local residents are still deeply anchored to family and long-held cultural traditions.

"The first gay pride in Viet Nam was really important," Baumont said. "It took place the same year that there was a great debate in France and other countries about marriage equality."

"You may think Viet Nam is very conservative, but in some ways the Vietnamese may be more accepting than others. That is what made me really get into this project," he added.

One of 27: A poster for the documentary Red over the Rainbow, at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.

By showcasing the life stories of gay, lesbian and transgender people in Ha Noi, the documentary shows how Viet Nam might become the first country in Asia to allow same-sex marriage. It is a colourful and varied documentary, shot in scenic Ha Noi, home of Viet Pride 2012 and 2013.

A graduate of the fine arts school ENSAD and film studies at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, Baumont is a freelance videographer based in Ha Noi, and a founding member of the Almaz Collective, a creative team with an experimental art space.

He has worked on various documentary and corporate projects for BBC World News, the French Ministry of Environment, OECD, UNICEF, Discovery Channel, WWF, French National Theatre, Le Monde, Russian Standard, East Meets West, DED, Blue Dragon Children's Foundation and other art institutions and festivals.

He finds video the most relevant tool to gather his ideas in one single artwork, but continues to work in most media. His main focus is how the urban environment and human beings shape each other.

Ha Noi's Tuong Theatre to perform in HCM City

More than 20 tuong (classical drama) young and veteran actors from Viet Nam Tuong Theatre in Ha Noi will perform Phuong Thuoc Than Ky (Magic Remedy) tomorrow in HCM City.

The play was written by Pham Van Quy, which was staged in northern provinces, leaving a very strong impression on the audience.

Directed by People's Artist Xuan Huyen, the play tells the stories of a young farmer who used his intelligence to help his villagers.

The 60-minute work is a combination of cai luong (reformed theatre), a southern art form, with tuong, accompanied by sound and light effects.

Before being staged in the city, the theatre performed in Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces.

They introduced dozens of excerpts from famous plays like Ong Gia Cong Vo Di Xem Hoi (The Old Man Carries his Young Wife on his Back to Go to the Festival), Ho Nguyet Co Hoa Cao (Nguyet Co Turning into Fox) and Chiec Bong Oan Khien (The Shadow).

Several shows will be staged at the Cong Nhan Theatre, Quan Doi Theatre and Sen Hong Stage in the city.

Tickets are available at the theatres' respective box offices.

Painting joins fight to save wildlife from being exploited

A painting expressing concerns over the trade of wild animal parts by Vo Thi Thao Hien from the central province of Quang Ngai has won top prize at a contest launched by the Education for Nature Viet Nam (ENV).

Hien, 17, won the 15 and over category, while Nguyen Tuyet Nhi from the southern province of Ben Tre won the under 15 competition.

Among the 155,000 entries, the organisers chose 13 winners from the two categories.

"The huge number of entries is a demonstration of public support, inspiring all members of society to take action to save Viet Nam's wildlife," said Environment Unit Chief at the US Embassy, Douglas O'Neill.

Participants focused on encouraging the public not to consume wildlife products, including rhino horn, tiger bone medicine, pangolin scales or bear bile, and to take action to stop the illegal wildlife trade.

Australian jazz musician to play in Ha Noi at Don's

Popular Australian singer Paul Gillett, aka Floyd Thursby, of the French gypsy jazz band La Mauvaise Reputation will perform this weekend in Ha Noi.

Gillett, singer and rhythm guitarist, first heard the music of Django Reinhardt on the streets as a child, and has been fascinated ever since.

He has toured Australia, performing his original music, and is composer and leader of the film scoring project, the Ang Fang Quartet.

His show will start at 8.30pm on Sunday, July 26, at Don's – A Chef's Bistro, 16 Quang An, Tay Ho District.

Various art programmes in Hanoi to mark August Revolution and National Day

Various art programmes will be organised in Hanoi to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the August Revolution (August 19, 1945 – August 19, 2015) and Vietnamese National Day (September 2, 1945 – September 2, 2015).

A concert themed ‘Autumn Melody’ will take place at 8pm on August 26 at My Dinh stadium. The progamme will draw the participation of well-known artists, such as People’s Artist Quang Tho, Meritorious Artist Duong Minh Duc, Quang Huy, Thanh Lam, Quoc Hung, Nhat Thuy, Tran Hong Nhung, violist Bui Cong Duy, Bui Le Chi, and the choir from the Military University of Culture and Arts.

Under the baton of conductor Honna Testuji and director Meritorious Artist Ngo Hoang Quan, Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (VNSO) will also perform selected songs by composers such as Trong Bang, Do Hong Quan, Van Cam.

On September 2, a special arts programme ‘Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh’ will be held at 8pm on September 2 at the National Convention Centre. The programme has attracted the participation of artists from the Vietnam National Music Song and Dance Theatre, Viet Bac Traditional Music Song and Dance Theatre, the Military University of Culture and Arts, the Thai Nguyen art troupe, Vietnam National Academy of Music, the Army Cheo Theatre, the Vietnam College of Dance and the Vietnam Circus Federation.

On the same day, a military parade will be held. The parade will begin at Ba Dinh Square in front of President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and proceed throughout a number of nearby streets.

Additionally, a grand parade attracting around 2,500 artisans and artists will be staged in Hanoi. The parade, taking place along the Hung Vuong Boulevard and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, will feature historical landmarks of the country as well as the aspiration for development of the Vietnamese people.

It will also include art performances recalling Vietnam’s culture throughout different periods of history, while honouring the unique cultures of ethnic groups, representing 54 Vietnamese groups and UNESCO-recognised cultural heritages of Vietnam.

The procession will be held to praise the great solidarity of Vietnamese ethnic groups, the people’s pride in the country’s history of national construction and defence, as well as demonstrate their belief in the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

Phu My Hung to host children’s festival

Phu My Hung Corporation will hold a summer festival for children on July 26 in Phu My Hung town, District 7, HCMC.

Themed “I will be a global citizen,” the annual festival is now in its sixth year and aims to create a playground for children, said Vo Minh Thanh, deputy general director of Phu My Hung Corporation.

The free-entrance event is larger in scale this year with more than 40 activities and music performances to be held and 5,000 gifts to be distributed to children.

Children will have the opportunity to watch many street art activities such as making balloons into different shapes, to he (a traditional toy made from glutinous rice powder in the form of edible figurines such as animals, flowers or characters from folk stories), and making flowers and animals from coconut leaves.

They will be invited to join traditional games of Vietnam such as keo co (tug of war),

beating the drum while blindfolded, o an quan (a traditional Vietnamese children’s board game), catching crabs, and games of other Asian countries such as walking on coconut shells (Laos), hunter and a flock of wild ducks (Malaysia), throwing a stick into the pipe (Korea), badminton (Japan), eating Krupuk cake blowing in the wind on a thin string (Indonesia).

In addition to modern games such as Jenga (a game which requires players to remove one block of wood at a time to put it on top of the wooden tower), Angry Birds, RC car racing, Lego toys, children are invited to join team games and show their talents through painting and singing activities.

August highlights at VinSpace

VinSpace Art Studio in HCMC is offering its new programs in August, including Canvas & Wine night and Summer Camp, to enable people of all ages to learn and create their own artworks.

Canvas & Wine, themed Nocturne Painting and scheduled for August 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., is where attendants have two hours to create artworks under soft glows, bright glares and atmospheric style of a night in Saigon.

The event will be held at VinSpace Art Studio at S24-1 Le Van Thiem Street in HCMC’s District 7. Guests will be charged US$38 per person, inclusive of two glasses of wine and all painting materials. There is a 15% discount for groups of four at a price of US$130 and 20% for teachers at US$31 per person.

Parents who are searching for space to keep their kids busy can consider the Summer Camp from now until August 17 at both VinSpace at S24-1 Le Van Thiem in District 7 and at 6 Le Van Mien in HCMC’s District 2. This is where children find a good place to show their creativity.

There are mixed media of pencil/charcoal, sketching, watercolor painting, soft pastel drawing and acrylic painting. Children will discover how they can draw, paint and build crafts throughout the camp and they can learn to stay calm, focused and engaged and how to solve problems, concentrate and make choices through art. The fee is US$30 per day or US$135 per week, inclusive of all materials.

Rachel O’Neil, a teacher at VinSpace, says both Canvas & Wine and Summer Camp have attracted positive responses from parents this year.

O’Neil says she is optimistic about the art scene in Vietnam. “It is growing slowly but steadily and with it more art spaces and galleries are opening.”

O’Neil noted the only difficulty VinSpace faces at art classes is to do with the language barriers for different nationalities. “Our classes are predominantly in English although we always make sure to have at least one Vietnamese teacher on hand to overcome any barriers.”

For further information, contact 0907 729 846 or 08 3519 4581, email:, website:

Poet Que Mai launches poem collection on Vietnam islands

Poet Dr. Nguyen Phan Que Mai, a lecturer at Lancaster University in the UK, yesterday launched her latest poem collection “To quoc goi ten minh” (the country calls our names) in HCMC’s District 3.

The poem “To quoc goi ten” written in 2011 by Mai has become a phenomenon on the Internet as its verses feature the nation’s patriotism and sovereignty of Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands. Local musician Dinh Trung Can adapted this poem to compose the song “To quoc goi ten minh”.

Audiences had the opportunity to exchange with the poet and the musician about this popular song. This poem collection was also unveiled in Hanoi on July 8.

It took Mai a year to finish the book which consists of 99 pieces about the love for the country, humans, nature and her life overseas. Thirteen songs whose lyrics were adapted from her poems can also be found at the back of the book.

Nguyen Phan Que Mai was born on August 12, 1973 in the northern province of Ninh Binh and raised in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu. She graduated from Lancaster University in the UK with a Master’s degree in literature. Mai has recently earned a doctorate degree at Lancaster University.

Solar-powered boats around Delta

After their success with solar-powered boats, four farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap have been directed by local authorities to build more such boats for the tourism industry.

Six boats, which can run at speeds of 20 km/h for three hours and are perfectly quiet, will ferry tourists to an upcoming tourism festival in September.

Tram Chim National Park has been tasked with working with the four farmer-inventors from Tam Nong district.

Previously called ‘crazy’, the four farmers made headlines recently after successfully creating their solar-powered boats.

Madame Nguyen Thi Binh’s memoir translated into English, Dream comes true for musician Le Minh Son, Book reprinted to mark late musician's birthday, Kite Festival to kick off in Yen So Park, Australian jazz musician to play in Ha Noi at Don's