Culture Culture

24/02/2019 - 09:21

An art space along the Huong river is taking form

After the inauguration of Nguyen Dinh Chieu walking street, the Huong river bank from Truong Tien to Phu Xuan Bridge will take the form of an art space featuring music, Ca Huế (Hue traditional singing), tuồng (Vietnamese classical drama), and installation art.

A sketch for the performing artwork “In-labor night on the Huong river” by artist Nguyen Van He

Introducing the quintessential arts

Following the inauguration ceremony on January 15, the cultural art pathway from Truong Tien to Phu Xuan bridge will enjoy an upbeat atmosphere with the appearance of various art forms, from contemporary arts to traditional music. According to the plan of the Department of Culture and Sports, for the time being, four types of arts are going to be performed: Ca Huế (Hue traditional singing), tuồng (Vietnamese classical drama), music, as well as installation and performing arts.

On the Huong river, young artist Nguyen Van He puts forth the idea of displaying a set of installation artworks themed “Trò chơi” (Games), made of recycled war scrap. He folded firecracker’s wrappings into crane, pinwheel, airplane, or boat - the innocent children's toys to convey a message: "War is a painful game to many people, so I want to turn sufferings into joy through the image of children’s toys,” he confided.

The Huong river will be bright and lively with the appearance of floating paper boats and planes. Visual effects and community interaction would reminisce viewers of their childhood, making the Huong river more poetic and fascinating.

At Hề boat wharf, artist Nguyen Van He also harbors the idea of organizing performance arts on the river. With artwork "In-labor night on the Huong river", Nguyen Van He will be the performing artist. In a coracle, a baby transforming from a fetus, then is born and starting to welcome the dawn light, the pure air of the Huong river. This symbolizes the transformation of every human being, every land and nation stepping through the darkness of the night to the brilliant light of dawn.

In addition to maintaining ca Huế (Hue traditional singing) within theaters, similar programs would also be held in the front court of Hue Museum of Culture. When performing in an outdoor stage, the artists of Ca Huế Club also add local folk songs to suit the public’s taste. The Theater Association also participates in performing excerpts of tuồng Huế (Hue traditional drama) with characteristic dances, costumes, and masks to promote Hue drama to everyone. Hue Music Academy and Hue Theater of Drama and Music will be responsible for choir singing, traditional and Western musical instruments performances.

A sketch of paper boat installation art on the Huong river by artist Nguyen Van He

An interesting destination

Mr. Phan Tien Dung, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports said: “The cultural space from Truong Tien bridge to Phu Xuan bridge attracts a lot of locals and visitors to do sightseeing. The Department of Culture and Sports has developed a plan to organize alternating art performances in the weekday afternoons and on Saturday and Sunday nights to attract and impress visitors. This is also a way to preserve and promote the artistic values of the ancient capital’s culture.”

The Department of Culture and Sports in collaboration with artists and relevant units has developed specific program plans. Performing programs would undergo critical review by an art council. Besides the current art forms, in the future, the Department of Culture and Sports also plans to add other types of arts to enhance richness in community services and visitors’ activities.

Mr. Dung emphasized: “We promote the quintessence of Hue along the Huong river bank to not only create the city’s highlights but also spread Hue's cultural values far and wide.” 

Artist Nguyen Van He said, if all possible, he hoped to connect and invite artists from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other nations to participate in contemporary art performances, installation art, contemporary dance, fine arts and sculpture exhibition, etc., to encourage interaction with and within the community.

Artist He shared: “During the Hue Festival, many international artists exhibited beautiful and interesting installation artworks which were later wastefully disposed of and abandoned. Meanwhile, the Huong river bank is also a famous city landmark that attracts tourists to appreciate art in festivals. We want to connect artists to organize year-round art shows, transforming the Huong River bank into an enticing space in both physical appearance and underlying artistic messages, touching the public’s feelings and making it not only an appealing destination for tourists but also an ideal place for artists’ creative contribution.”

Poet Vo Que, Chairman of Ca Hue Club, shared excitedly: “For the past five years, artists of Ca Hue Club with love and passion for the arts have maintained a weekly Hue traditional singing program. We appreciate and welcome the province’s policy to introduce an additional Hue traditional singing program in the outdoor space. We will strive our best to introduce traditional artistic values to the public.”

To realize these plans, additional funding is needed. Mr. Dung suggested: “The Department of Culture and Sports has proposed that the provincial People's Committee should spur an initial investment for artists’ creativity. Further calls will then address private businesses for sponsorship. With adequate investment, it is hoped that everyone could enjoy the cultural values of the ancient capital while new, attractive tourist products are created, and visitors’ length of stay is lengthened.

By Minh Hien