Veteran painter and sculptor Van Thuyet has wowed art lovers with his latest production, but it's not the usual art work he's noted for.
Thuyet has launched a publication of his bilingual Vietnamese-English poetry collection entitled Tiec Tran Gian (Party on Earth).
The collection features 54 poems which reveal his life philosophy as well as the ambitions and desires of the human race.
Works by the world's great writers, including Mikhail Lermontov, Alexander Puskin, Honre de Balzac, Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo, were his childhood "friends" and nurtured his writing skill.
Although Thuyet wrote his first poems when he was at secondary school, his writing skill flourished when he pursued his studies at the Teachers' Training University and then the Ha Noi University of Industrial Fine Arts during the 1970s and 80s. His life experience as he matured gave him the inspiration for about 200 poems.
"During that period, Viet Nam faced very hard times as it fought the war with the Americans and then struggled to recover from the loss and damage," Thuyet said. "I was mature enough to understand the value of life. I could have the same feeling as others and I could find a common thought with others as I witnessed their loss and pain."
Unlike most other poets of his generation who wrote revolutionary and patriotic poetry, Thuyet's verses expressed another spirit. Fascinated by the illuminating poetry of Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud, he brought the style into his verses, creating his own poetic philosophy.
The book also presents more than 120 photos of Thuyet's paintings and sculptures.
French art troupes attend Hue Festival
French art troupes led by President of the Poitou-Charentes Regional Council of France, Segolene Royal will attend the opening ceremony of the Hue Festival on the evening of April 7.
This is the second time Royal has visited Vietnam in the past six months. Pointou-Charantes has sent several art troupes to the Hue Festival since the event was first held in 2000.
A number of art troupes from the Poitou-Charentes region will join this year’s festival including Carabosse, Jazz Combo Box and Les Oreillers Rouges-Vanessa Jousseaume.
Carabosse troupe has planned a spectacular performance on the Huong River with candle installations during the opening ceremony.
The French artists will also set up an installation of small fires along the wall of the Hien Nhon Gate in the Forbidden Purple City and the trumpeters of Jazz Combo Box will perform in the streets and on stage at the festival.
During her visit from April 7-10, Segolene Royal will visit and hold working sessions with Vietnamese leaders. This is also an opportunity for the French delegation to observe the progress of the eco-tourism development project undertaken by the Hue Tourism College and La Rochelle University.
Diverse activities take place in Hue
An exhibition displaying 150 photographs of Vietnamese landscapes and people in Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City was held in Hue city on April 6.
The event was organized by the Thua Thien Hue Union of Literature and Arts Associations and Photographer Associations.
The same day, people of all ages gathered in Thuong Bac Park to take part in the “Calligraphy Space” event and wrote poems about Hue on a 30m-long banner of purple silk.
The silk calligraphy will be arranged to resemble the image of a Hue girl wearing traditional Vietnamese dress.
The Hue Calligraphy Club also displayed 2012 calligraphy pictures to visitors.
Later the same day, the Hue Beer festival took place in Thuong Bac Park, featuring famous singers and artists across the country.
Hanoi hosts Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar New Year
The Hanoi Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO), in coordination with the Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar embassies, organized an exchange in Hanoi on April 6 to celebrate the traditional New Year of the four countries.
HUFO President Dao Van Binh sent New Year greetings to people in the four countries and said he hopes that such activities will contribute to boosting ties between Hanoians and international friends, especially those in the Mekong River sub-region.
Lao ambassador to Vietnam, Somph o ne Sichaleune, thanked the HUFO for organizing the exchange, which helps strengthen the ties of friendship among ASEAN countries.
Guests at the event enjoyed traditional New Year rituals, specialties and art performances from the four countries celebrating the holiday.
Thai billionaire makes movie in Vietnam
Vikrom Kromadit, founder of Amata Corp. - a leading regional industrial estate business, and his film crew shot a movie about tourism and the economic situation in central Vietnam’s Da Nang port city on April 5-6.
The billionaire and his staff also arrived in Hue on late Friday to participate in the Hue festival ahead of his trips to Quang Binh and other provinces in the north as part of his six-month 40,000-kilometer caravan trip through Asia. They will leave Vietnam for China on April 16.
The film footage shot in Vietnam is part of a documentary titled “ASEAN Community, 3 Years before Regional Integration” produced by Thailand’s Panorama film production firm, aiming to provide TV viewers with features on the social, economic, and cultural lives of ASEAN members ahead of the launch of the ASEAN Economy Community in 2015.
The documentary, financed and written by Vikrom, is scheduled to be aired on television channels in Thailand, as well as on CNBC and PBS in the United States.
Vikrom Kromadit is also the author of two books that have been translated into Vietnamese, “Tay không gầy dựng cơ đồ” (Building A Career by Bare Hands) and “Nghiệt Ngã và Thành Công” (Be A Better Man), which have gained widespread interest among local readers.
Mary McBride rocks and rolls HCMC
Thousands of residents and expats living in Ho Chi Minh City last night flocked to Lan Anh Stage at 291 Cach Mang Thang Tam in District 10 for the show of American country band Mary McBride.
At the show held by the U.S. Consulate General in HCMC, the band including vocal Mary McBride, guitarists Paul Cabonara and Mark Spencer, bass player Greg Beshers and drummer Bobby Lloyd Hicks offered audiences a remarkable night with around 20 non-stop performances.
The music night started with bustling songs like “Tricky Tricky World,” “Home” and “Black Eyed Strays.” Despite the fact that McBride’s songs are not very popular in Vietnam, audiences were deeply moved with the melodies.
The climax of the show was when the band sang the hit which has made their fame “No One’s Gonna Love You Like Me” - soundtrack of the Academy-award winning film Brokeback Mountain. The whole stadium waved their cell phones with the lights on along to the melodies, making the venue look like a beautiful starry night.
After that, the band even added more fire to the night by singing the Grammy winning song “Rolling in The Deep,” making thousands of audiences sing and dance along.
“We are very happy to be here, in Vietnam,” Mary expressed her felling on the stage.
Then, the most surprising part of the show is the performance of the southern folk song “Ly Chieu Chieu” in amazingly fluent Vietnamese though the band just arrived in the country 2 days ago.
“This is a special performance, for you,” Mary said. The song is not officially included on the show’s ticket.
The band then continued to rock the air until midnight with stunning drum and guitar solos as well as funky rock ‘n’ roll songs including “If You Lived in My Town” and “Don’t Need No Doctor.”
After the concert in HCMC, the band will continue to hold performances on April 8 and 9 in the central city of Hue within the framework of the city’s 7th biennial International Cultural Festival.
In addition, the artists from the US will meet with students at the Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music at 9am on April 6, and the Hue Conservatory of Music at 9am on April 10.
Also, they will hold outreach events for disadvantaged people in HCMC, Hue and Quang Tri Province.
HCMC launches weekly street concerts for free
Ho Chi Minh City will kick off a weekly street art program for free at several parks around the city starting from this weekend.
Titled “I Love Sharing,” the event, held by Dong A Bank in collaboration with the HCMC Green Park Company, will gather young local singers who will perform their hits, as well as songs ordered by passers-by and tourists at the venue.
The first show featuring young names like Ha Okio, Thai Trinh and It’s Time Band will take place at 9am this Sunday at Gia Dinh Park in Go Vap District.
According to the organizers, Tao Dan Park and 23/9 Park in District 1 will be the next destinations of “I Love Sharing.”
The event has been organized in Hanoi, Da Nang, Hoi An and Nha Trang and is scheduled to spread to other provinces and cities until the end of this year.