A painting by late artist Nguyen Van Phuong.
Painting exhibition ‘An Eternal Spring’ by the late artist Nguyen Van Phuong opened at Tu Do Gallery in downtown HCMC on Saturday, giving a chance for art lovers to admire the works of their forefather’s generation.
The show features 45 artworks, consisting of 40 oil on canvas and five lacquers. Phuong’s works present a skillful combination of classic art style with inspiration from the nation’s history.
Phuong’s artworks are filled with Vietnamese cultural features of traditional festivals, customs, practices, daily life in spring in Khue Van Cac, Lim Festival, bailing out water at the full-moon night. Characters in his paintings are dressed in traditional costumes with some depicting ancient architecture, recalling times of the past.
The colors in Phuong’s works are also worth a mention with the five main colors of the basic elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth.
Each work seems to be a story narrated with real images and all his paintings are colorful, expressing happiness and a love of life.
Born in 1930 in Hanoi, Phuong has had many solo and group exhibitions in Vietnam, Japan, Sweden and South Korea. He died in 2006.
The exhibition runs until May 7 at the gallery, 53 Ho Tung Mau, District 1. Cultural diplomacy promotes development and integration
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in co-ordination with the Thua Thien-Hue provincial People’s Committee, held a roundtable discussion yesterday on the role of cultural diplomacy in supporting sustainable development and international integration.
Representatives from relevant ministries, agencies and local authorities attended the discussion along with nearly 30 ambassadors and chief representatives of international organisations and diplomatic missions in Vietnam.
Speaking at the event, which was part of the ongoing Hue Festival, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Thanh Son affirmed that cultural diplomacy has become increasingly important for regional and international peace, co-operation and development.
He added that Vietnam has strengthened its cultural diplomacy in the spirit of active international integration and expanding its relations with other countries in all fields, thus contributing to promoting the country, people, and culture of Vietnam to the global community and incorporating the cultural quintessence of humankind into its own cultural values.
Cultural diplomacy also plays an important role in connecting diplomatic missions with Vietnamese localities as well as supporting sustainable local development and international integration. Through various activities at the local level, international delegates are able to learn more about the country’s unique cultural features, traditions and customs.
Participants at the meeting shared their experiences in preserving and promoting local heritage and boosting exchanges and international co-operation between Thua Thien - Hue province and other countries to promote the socio-economic development and introduce the province’s image to the region and the world.
The participants also proposed measures to promote tourism and cultural heritage through local cultural diplomacy programmes. President Ho bronze drum presented to Thua Thien – Hue province
A bronze drum with depictions of President Ho Chi Minh was presented to the Ho Chi Minh museum in Thua Thien – Hue province on April 9 by the Lam Kinh Cultural Heritage Association under the Thanh Hoa provincial Antiques Association.
The drum, cast by skilled artisans from the Dong Son district in Thanh Hoa province, features images of President Ho Chi Minh and his family as well as Uncle Ho reading the Declaration of Independence on September 2, 1945; the Nha Rong wharf in Ho Chi Minh City from where the great leader left to go abroad seeking ways for national salvation; and the full text of his testament.
It also includes images of the Commemorative House at No.112 Mai Thuc Loan Street where President Ho spent his childhood and the Quoc Hoc Hue Senior High School where he studied in 1908. Ironically, environmental exhibition causes pollution
An exhibition intended to draw public attention to environment protection in Hanoi has been suspended since wastewater from the event caused pollution.
At his exhibition titled “Negotiation,” Tran Trong Linh displayed seven ice blocks covering 20 cubic meters of garbage from Hanoi’s To Lich River to raise people’s awareness on how the environment has been destroyed through the melting process of the ice blocks.
Under the plan, the event was set to take place at French Cultural Centre L’Espace from April 5 to 27. However, from April 6 to 9 the Hanoi Department of Fine Art, Photography and Exhibition required Linh to stop his exhibtion since his work caused pollution in the area.
The wastewater melted from the ice blocks with trash and went straight to a drain on the street at the venue. Stagnant water around the drain has caused an understandable smell at the area.
According to Duong Thi Thuy, from the center’s Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Department, Linh violated clauses in the approval for his exhibition at the center.
“In the negotiation, L’Espace allowed Linh to create only visual works without any smell, since the venue is often crowded and there are many café in the neighboring area, but he didn’t respect the deal,” she said.
Some spectators said Linh’s intention is good but the way he executed his idea shows that he lacks responsibility towards visitors.
“How can people drink beer or coffee next to such huge piles of garbage, not to mention the fact that children are allowed to enter to the event, where they could be infected from the trash?,” visitor Pham Long he expressed in opposition to the display.
Some people do suppoer the artist though. Pham Trung, a contemporary fine art researcher at Hanoi’s Fine Art Institute, said that the pollution is tolerable since Linh sent an environmental message to the public.
“The wastewater from the exhibition is just a drop in the ocean compared with the recent pollution in our life. It’s certain that we will receive some damage while creating such a meaningful message about the environment,” Tran Luong, curator of the Ho Chi Minh City-based San Art exhibition space said.
For his part, Tran Trong Linh said he does not agree with the idea that his works must be only-visual art.
“I want my works to impress spectators with both the coldness of ice and the unpleasant smell of garbage,” Linh added. Ho Chi Minh’s prison diary on display in RoK
A calligraphy exhibition featuring excerpts from late President Ho Chi Minh’s Prison Diary, opened on April 9 at the Suncheon National University’s museum, in the south Jeolla province in the Republic of Korea.
On display at the event, which marks the anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s 122 nd birthday, were 45 calligraphic works by 23 calligraphers from Gwangju and south Jeolla provinces.
Addressing the event, the Rector of the University, Song Yeong-moo, said the exhibition is taking place at the same time as the two countries are celebrating the 20 th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and preparing for the 2012 Vietnam-RoK Friendship Year.
He expressed his hopes that the exhibition will help the students and local people understand more about President Ho Chi Minh’s life and Vietnam ’s revolutionary cause.
According to Vietnam ’s Ambassador Tran Trong Toan, the Prison Diary was first translated from Vietnamese to Korean for the first time in 2003 and made a huge contribution to helping Korean people understand more about Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh.
The exhibition, which will run until April 25, once again expressed Korean people’s interest in and respect for President Ho Chi Minh, he said.
He also expressed his hope that the event will help consolidate Vietnam-RoK friendship and strategic cooperation.
According to the organising board, all the works of art will be transferred to two RoK cultural centres in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and put on display to mark Uncle Ho’s birthday on May 19. Paris Orchestra children’s choir to entertain Hanoi
The children’s choir of the Paris National Opera Orchestra will give two performances at the Hanoi Opera House on April 18 and 19.
Twelve primary artists and 65 members of the choir will perform the masterpiece L’ Enfant et les Sortileges by Maurice Ravel, which reflects the composer’s sensitivity and love for fairy tales.
Conductor Gael Darchen will also direct around 450 young people aged between 7 and 16, together with the choir of Maitrise de Hauts-de-Seine in special performances for the audience.
L’ Enfant et les Sortileges is an imaginative opera composed by Maurice Ravel between 1919 and 1925 in collaboration with the French author Collete, who later wrote the book “Divertissement pour ma fille.”
This was Ravel’s second and final opera after “The Spanish Hour” he composed in 1907. Book exhibition on Vietnam-Laos friendship opens
Thousands of Vietnamese and Lao publications from printed newspapers, online newspapers, television and radio broadcasts as well as books are being exhibited in Vientiane to mark the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Year and Laos’ traditional Bunpimay New Year festival.
At the opening ceremony on April 10, Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son highlighted the strong development of Vietnam and Laos media in both quality and quantity for the benefit of national construction and defence. Their media workers in the two countries have fulfilled their tasks of disseminating information on political and socio-economic achievements as well as strengthening the special friendship between the two countries.
They have always closely cooperated with each other in sharing information, and professional experience, transferring technology and training human resources, he said.
For his part, Laos’ Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdala said the exhibition reflects the close ties of friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, Governments and peoples.
After attending the opening ceremony, the two ministers held talks to discuss issues of mutual concern and cooperative plans between the two ministries in the friendship year. Over 30,000 foreigners attend Hue Festival
Nearly 65,000 tourists, including more than 30,000 foreigners, have attended the 2012 Hue Festival from April 7-9.
The opening gala event alone drew the participation of 25,000 tourists and local people and hotels and hostels in Hue reported more than 91 percent occupancy at the peak of the festival.
Three of the 2012 Festival’s seven major events– the opening performance, Nam Giao offering ritual, and the Ao dai show, have taken place so far, said Ngo Hoa, Vice Chairman of Thua Thien-Hue province, which hosts the biennial event.
Numerous local and international art shows also took place on more than 15 stages in Hue City and other sites across Thua Thien-Hue province.
Seminars, fairs, and community cultural activities have also been held, including a performance of model airplanes and ships, and a poetry festival.