22:54 09/02/2012
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Goethe-Institut Hanoi to host "Street-Front Houses" exhibition

The Goethe-Institut of Hanoi will host “Nha Mat Pho” (Street-front Houses), an exhibition of the work of artist Nguyen The Son, from March 8-28.

Recently, Hanoi’s residential buildings, which have long shaped the face of the city, have been changing dramatically. Instead of windows and balconies, which facilitate the communication between neighbors, tall billboards now seal the houses off from the street.

This exhibition reflects an aspect of the rapid transformation of Hanoi"s architecture. Using paper and silk, this exhibition features photographic installations which play with the beholder’s perception and blur the line between reality and fiction; video installations are used to reflect the rapid change Hanoi has undergone over the past several years.

Nguyen The Son graduated from the Vietnam Academy of Fine Arts in 2002. In 2008, he began to pursue a Master’s degree in Fine Art Photography at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

DJ Alex Milan to perform in Vietnam

ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 9/2Well-known Dj Alex Millan will return to Vietnam to perform at the French Cultural Centre in Hanoi, L’Espace.

Earlier in March 2010, the French DJ cum producer, attended the Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival.

Alex has signed contracts with many leading music agencies in France and Germany and attended many important world events.

His albums published all over the world have attracted a huge number of electronic music lovers.

Laos, Vietnam signs MoU on TV cooperation

Vietnam Television (VTV) Director General Tran Binh Minh and Lao Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism (ICT) Bosengkham Vongdala on February 2 in Vientiane signed a memorandum of understanding on bilateral cooperation in the 2012-2015 period.

Accordingly, the two sides will exchange news, reportages and TV programmes. The Lao Ministry of ICT will direct its TV stations to promote exchanges of news, and reportages about people’s life and other economic, cultural and social developments on a weekly basis with VTV, as well ass documents, music programmes, short dramas, and films in line with legal regulations, copyrights and intellectual property rights.

The Lao Ministry of ICT will continue to support VTV in building stations in some Lao localities.

Vietnam Television, for its part, will continue with a project on broadcasting in Lao language on VTV4, help train Lao human resources and invite Lao reporters, producers and technicians to attend training courses conducted by international experts in Vietnam.

VTV will also assist Laos to cover big international events, such as the 9th ASEM summit later this year and to repair broadcasting stations.

Vietnam Idol’s Uyen Linh releases first album

Uyen Linh - winner of Vietnam Idol 2010 - has released her first album Giac mo toi (My dream) on Wednesday.

The album, which was eight months in creation, consists of seven songs: Giac mo toi; Sao chang ve voi em (why not come back to me) (by Quoc Trung); Nguoi hat tinh ca (a love song singer); Muon (borrowing) (by Luu Thien Huong); Chi la giac mo (just a dream) (by Kim Ngoc); Noi ay co cha (the place where papa stays) (by Pham Thanh Ha) and Take me to the river (by Al Green/Mabon Hodges).

The album was recorded using jazz drums, guitars and bass piano and was remixed at The Mastering Lab in the U.S. by Sunny Nam who received a Grammy nomination this year.

“We aim to bring the cozy space of a small stage or club to listeners by acoustic sounds so that people can feel Linh’s voice in a simple way and they feel closer to her,” said musician/producer Quoc Trung, who is seeking sponsors for Linh and her band’s tour to six or seven universities nationwide later this year.

Hanoi diplomatic student and self-taught singer Linh has become a real phenomenon in Vietnam as TV viewers from teens to the elderly fell in love with her strong and emotional voice. Nationwide her fans packed homes to sit in front of TV watching her performances and discussed enthusiastically her merits on online forums and newspapers.

People can buy the album at bookstores and CD shops nationwide for VND89,000.

Indonesia, Vietnam to make Kung Fu movie

Indonesian actor Roger Danuarta will join the movieVietnamese and Indonesian filmmakers will join hands to make a movie about Kung Fu titled “Ranh Gioi Trang Den” (The Boundary between Black and White).

The filmmaking crew from the Indonesian PT Jelita Ali Studio will arrive in Vietnam in the middle of this month to join the local team from Vinacinema Join Stock Company to look for filming locations.

According to Saigon Giai Phong Newspaper, the movie has an investment of VND10 billion (US$500,000) with each side contributing half.

The movie, which will be directed by Najantolisa from Indonesia, is about Nguyen Lu, a Kung Fu movie director who tries to rescue his younger sister from kidnappers.

The film will star local actresses Thuy Diem and Nhu Thao from Vietnam, as well as Guntur Triyono, Roger Danuarta and Siti Dewi Rahmawati from Indonesia and Pang Swee Teow from Singapore.

Najantolisa said he was thinking about casting Vietnamese actor Vo Thanh Tam or Huy Khanh as the movie’s hero.

The movie will hit theatres on April 27.

Ethnic language programmes to be aired on television

Vietnam Television (VTV) will produce programmes in ethnic languages, with the first edition to air on VTV5 on March 1.

The television project on ethnic languages in 2011-2015 aims to raise public awareness of Party guidelines and State policies on ethnic issues. It will improve people"s knowledge, as well as promoting economic development and maintaining the cultural identity of ethnic minority groups.

VTV plans to coordinate with 42 local television stations nationwide in training staff and preparing equipment for making the programme.

Recently, many ethnic minority groups in most mountainous regions have gained access to television service transmitted via satellite, which will allow the programme to reach a potentially large audience.

2012 Earth Hour to be observed in Vietnam

More than 4,600 enterprises from 30 provinces across the country will respond to the 2012 Earth Hour.

Under the motto “You and I act together”, the 2012 Earth Hour will be observed from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm on March 31.

During the hour, lights and electrical equipment will be switched off.

In Hanoi’s key areas, including Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc bridge, Hanoi Opera House and Trang Tien Plaza, there all lights will go down to show local people’s earth-loving spirit.

Vietnam takes part in tourism fair in Belgium

Vietnam participated in the 53rd Holiday Fair in the Belgian capital city of Brussels from February 2-6.

This year, there were six different travel ‘villages’ in the event, named North Europe village, Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, North America, Latin America, and cruise village, where visitors learned more about the regions and types of holidays on offer.

Indonesia was the host country of this year’s Holiday Fair and the Asia-Pacific village was the event’s main theme.

Vietnam’s stall in the Asia-Pacific village attracted a large number of visitors. It also joined a direct exchange programme to introduce special characters of Vietnamese culture, tourism and cuisine to visitors.

Asia-Pacific village participants brought a bustling atmosphere of tropical festivals through performances featuring the cultural character of countries in the region, such as the traditional music of Malaysia, traditional dances of Nepal, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, and a sword performance from Japan.

Taking part in the fair, visitors were provided with a chance to access accurate information on tours around the world and various means of travel offered by popular travel agencies.

Workshops were also organised, attracting the participation of professional tourism managers from many countries, with presentations on tourism development strategies and the tourism industry’s future potential.

2011 hit movies released on DVD

Two local movies, including the box-office champion from Tet 2011, “Co Dau Dai Chien” (Battle of The Brides), and a Canadian film festival’s nominee “Hot boy Noi Loan” (Lost in Paradise) has been released on DVD recently.

According Film Publisher Phuong Nam, releasing the movie’sDVD versions after cinema screenings aims to bring the movies closer to local audiences and increase the movies’ revenue.

BHD Cinema, the producer of the movies, also held a screening of the movie “Lost in Paradise” on February 7 to mark the release. The film’s cast also took part in the screening to give autographs for their fans.

Victor Vu’s comedy “Co Dau Dai Chien” tells the story of a wedding which is interrupted by four other women in bridal gowns, all after the groom’s blood since he left them for the bride. It earned around US$ 2 million in ticket sales after 2 months of screening.

“Hotboy Noi Loan” directed by Vu Ngoc Dang was nominated for the Discovery category for outstanding works from promising filmmakers around the world at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada in last August. It narrates the story of Khoa, an innocent man who leaves his poor village for Sai Gon and falls in love with Lam, a male prostitute.

The DVD will be sold at the price of VND 70,000.

Berlin festival to show local film

The movie Hot Boy Noi Loan, Cau Chuyen ve Thang Cuoi, Co Gai Diem va Con Vit (Lost in Paradise) by director Vu Ngoc Dang will be screened at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival on February 9-19 in Berlin.

Dang"s latest film is the first Vietnamese production to feature a positive view of homosexual life. It will be shown as part of the festival"s Panorama category, for films courting controversial subjects such as violence and homosexuality, while portraying a special artistic effect.

The film gives prominence to humanity through two separate stories. The first depicts a love triangle between three gays. The second concerns a friendship between a mentally handicapped man with a prostitute. They have their own dreams, emotions and love, like others.

The film received critical acclaim and commercial success in Vietnam, and has been shown at several international festivals from which it has garnered mixed reviews.

Lost in Paradise was screened at the Toronto film festival last year, then shown in Vancouver (Canada), and Pusan (the Republic of Korea). The Berlin Festival is the film"s first venue in Europe.

In Vietnam, the film won many prestigious awards, including Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Cameraman at the National Film Festival last year.

Exhibition of plastic art objects to be held

An exhibition of artistic plastic models by Paramodel, an internationally acclaimed art duo, will be held on February 17 in Ha Noi.

Paramodel was formed in 2001 by Japanese artists Hayashi Yasuhiko and Nakano Yusuke. Their title is a combination of the words Paradise, Paradox, and Model. It also plays on the Japanese word puramoderu (plastic toy dioramas).

Through elaborate combinations of plastic toys parts with other everyday objects, they attempt to create blueprints of Paradise whilst underscoring life"s paradoxes. Paramodel"s expansive artworks range from massive, room-scale installations, to mini-sculptures. Videos, drawings, photography and other media are mixed in to round out the works.

For the exhibit, Paramodel will cover the entire Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange in Viet Nam, at 27 Quang Trung Street, Ha Noi, with its pieces.

They will also conduct a workshop on the same day at the Viet Nam University of Fine Arts, 42 Yet Kieu Street, Ha Noi. Admission is free but pre-registration is required.

French animated shorts to screen

A collection of 11 short animated films will be screened at L"Espace, the French cultural centre, on Friday, February 10. The centre is located at 24 Trang Tien Street in the capital city. The admission cost is VND20,000.

Photo exhibition explores Ha Noi urban space

Photos by Jamie Maxtone-Graham, an American photographer based in Ha Noi, will be showcased at the Bui Gallery at 23 Ngo Van So Street from February 10 to March 12. Produced within the intensity of urban Ha Noi, the photos record a space between the projected and the perceived, says Maxtone-Graham.

Japanese maestro to conduct symphony programmes

Under the baton of Japanese conductor Honna Tetsuji, the Viet Nam Symphony Orchestra, with French pianist Michael Bourdoncle, will perform music by Johannes Brahms at the Ha Noi Opera House on February 15 and 16. The programme will include Brahms" First Sympnony and his Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor.

Later in the month, on February 25 and 26, Honna will lead the orchestra in the Yamashita Yosuke 70th Borthday Concert, with the lauded pianist himself taking the stage. The concert will features Yamashita Yosuke"s Senbayama and Gershwin"s Rhapsody in Blue.

Tickets are available at the Opera House box office at 1 Trang Tien Street, or can be booked online at or by phone at 0913489858 or 0983067996.

Toying with art

The Japanese art unit Paramodel will have a two-week residency in Ha Noi from February 17, during which time they will cover the interior space of the art gallery at the Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange with Japanese and Vietnamese toys.

Paramodel was formed in 2001 by artists Hayashi Yasuhiko and Nakamo Yusuke. Their work is fun and eye-catching, inviting viewers to remember their childhoods. Through elaborate combinations of plastic toys and other everyday objects, they attempt to create blueprints of paradise while underscoring life"s paradoxes. Paramodel"s expansive artworks range from massive, room-scale installations, to mini-sculptures, with videos, drawing and photography and other media in between.

The Japan Foundation Centre for Cultural Exchange is located at 27 Quang Trung Street,

French DJ to mix atmosphere at L"Espace

French DJ and producer Alex Millan will return to Ha Noi for the third consecutive year for a night of electronica at L"Espace next Saturday, February 18. Influenced by groups such as Depeche Mode, The Sisters of Mercy, Rage Against the Machine and Noir Desir, the turntablist will create a diverse and unique selection of electronic sounds. The show will take place at 8pm at L"Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street. Tickets admitting two persons cost VND60,000 and will be available at the door.

Enjoy winter dinner with special friends

The first annual FTA Winter Dinner for the hospitality industry will be held today at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon in HCM City.

The event, organised by Fred Tibbitts&Associates, a Bangkok and New York-based social entrepreneurship consulting company, will be attended by the media, educators and, hospitality industry executives.

The winners of the 2012 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence will be announced, while the presentations, along with a scholarship in each recipient"s name, will be made at the FTA Fall Dinners at Hong Kong on October 9 and New York City on November 13.

FTA develops beer, wine, and spirits programmes for chain hotels and restaurants, and hold relationship building dinners at Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, HCM City, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Mumbai, and New York.

Concert to help set up Ben Tre clinic

The Heart Reach Australia fund will hold a charity concert called Trai Tim Yeu Thuong (Kind Heart) at the New World Saigon Hotel in District 1 on Saturday, February 11.

All profits will be used to build a new medical clinic in Tan Thanh District in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Ben Tre and provide healthcare services to needy people and children.

The event will feature young pianist Van Anh, singer-song-writer Thanh Bui, and singers Ho Ngoc Ha, Van Mai Huong and Anna Truong.

Festival fetes traditional Vietnamese cuisine

Ngay Hoi Que Toi (Festival in My Homeland), held at the Van Thanh Tourism Area in Binh Thanh District from February 10-12, will offer a feast of cultural events and traditional cuisine from all parts of the country.

Traditional art performances, games and countryside market activities will also be presented at the festival.

City gallery displays ‘Drops of Spring"

Giot Xuan (Drops of Spring), a collection of the latest works of Ha Noi-based artist Nguyen Quoc Dung, is on display at the Tu Do Gallery in HCM City.

The exhibition features 20 oil paintings that reflect the beauty and charm of Vietnamese women wearing the traditional ao dai.

Dung, 53, graduated from the Viet Nam Industrial Fine Arts University in 1984. Since then he has held several solo and group exhibitions in Viet Nam and abroad.

The exhibition closes on March 5 at 53 Ho Tung Mau Street, District 1.

Visitors to experience traffic-free Hoi An

Tourists to Hoi An City will enjoy a real peaceful and romantic atmosphere as local authorities have banned motor vehicles in the ancient town for the vast majority of the week.

The city authorities had earlier forbidden motor vehicles to travel into Hoi An at certain times on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to offer better space to travelers. And now they have included Thursday into that equation.

With the new regulations, motor vehicles are not allowed to go into Hoi An Town from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.

Over the past few years, the world heritage site has attracted local and international travelers for its ambience, famous lanterns and street art.

Symposium marks late Party General Secretary’s birthday

A symposium on late Party General Secretary Truong Chinh was held in Hanoi on February 7 to mark his 105th birthday (1907-2012).

Comrade Truong Chinh, whose real name is Dang Xuan Khu, was born in February 9, 1907 to a patriotic Confucian family in Hanh Thien village, Xuan Hong commune, Xuan Truong district, Nam Dinh province.

Speeches at the symposium highlighted significant contributions made by comrade Truong Chinh, a preeminent leader of the Vietnamese revolution, an excellent theorist of the Party’s culture, a journalist, a revolutionary poet and a great character.

His writings such as ‘Draft of Vietnamese Culture’ (1943) and ‘Marxism and Vietnamese Culture’ (1948) are outstanding theoretical works on Vietnamese revolutionary culture. His viewpoints on the important role of culture in the revolution process and in all aspects of social life continue to be relevant today. They are in accordance with the Party’s guidelines in the ‘Doi Moi’ (Renewal) process, and affirm that culture is a spiritual foundation of the society, serving as the objective and the motivation for social development.

The late Party leader was also a veteran journalist, who paid great care for training and directing his future generations’ fellow workers. He had expert opinions on the role and principals the professional as well as virtues of a journalist.

As a poet under the penname of Song Hong, his poetry served the revolution, which can be seen through poems that feature the realities and burning issues of contemporary life.

The Party official is highly respected by intellectuals and artists for his intelligence, profound understanding on the country’s history and culture, high sense of responsibility, scientific and careful working manner, and for having lived a modest, untarnished, and sincere lifestyle.

He is also an exemplar of revolutionary virtues, a man who was truly industrious, thrifty, had integrity; was honest, public spirited, selfless, and wholeheartedly devoted his life to the revolutionary cause of the Party and nation.

Old Thu Thiem ferry service to cater to tourists

The old Thu Thiem ferry service at Bach Dang Wharf in District 1, which once ferried passengers across the Saigon River, has now switched its function by catering to tourists and servicing transport companies, from February 7.

Le Manh Ha, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee in Ho Chi Minh City and various representatives from city departments attended the opening ceremony of the new ferry service.

The Thu Thiem ferry service officially halted operations on November 20, when the Thu Thiem Tunnel opened for traffic, as figures from the City Bridge and Ferry Management Company showed that only 9,000 people used the ferry service per day.

HCM City offers free theatre shows for people in rural areas

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have of late shown great interest in organising free theatre performances for people living in rural areas, to help them unwind with light entertainment after a hard day’s work.

However, some theatre performances have failed in their purpose, leaving audiences unimpressed.

During the Tet holidays, a music and comedy performance by the Ho Chi Minh City Drama Theatre was held in Nha Be District. Audiences looked bored seeing young unknown singers and actors who are as yet students of the theatre. Sadly, their performance failed to entertain the crowds.

On the second day of the first lunar month, Nha Be District also held a show by the Ho Chi Minh City Hat Boi (traditional drama) Theatre in Long Thoi Commune. Even though the stage was put up in spacious surroundings, the crowds were disappointed when the show was cancelled at the last minute.

The theatre performance group of seven backstage workers and 30 actors had travelled to Hoc Mon and Binh Chanh Districts.

According to actress Ngoc Nga, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Hat Boi (traditional drama) Theatre, the main actors and actresses receive a mere cash fee of VND100,000, while artists who play supporting roles receive only VND45,000.

Critics are concerned and question if professional theatre artists should be brought to perform in remote areas. Besides, there are not enough facilities for theatre performances such as sound and light, added Meritorious Artist Hoa Ha.

On the other hand, theatre often presents to audiences old plays, while the local authorities spend billions of dong to bring art performances to people in remote areas every year. The first quarter of this year alone received a fund of VND857 million (US$39,000).

According to the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, theatre groups organised 71 performances for more than 38,000 people and workers in remote areas, social centres, industrial and processing zones during the Tet Lunar New Year holidays.

Future of top Vietnamese satirical TV show in doubt

Rumours that one of the Vietnam’s most loved television shows - the Kitchen Gods- an end of year satire performance may come to an end has sparked public dismay.

The show’s director, Do Thanh Hai, confirmed with DTiNews that a final decision had yet to be reached on the show, and that rumours of the hard-hitting satirical show facing the axe were mere media speculation.

The show has proved hugely popular as it features the antics of the Jade Emperor and his advisors dealing with the complaints, trials and tribulations of various petitioners representing current Vietnamese government ministers.

Topics on this year"s end of year review included the controversial decision by the Ministry of Transport to change school hours, a spate of unexplained vehicle fires, violent disturbances in residential areas, bribery in the health sector, a standstill in the real estate market, high interest rates and financial difficulties, and the skimpy costumes worn by singers.

Audiences have expressed their surprise at the rumoured cancellation.

Hai said, “The reporter asked me what would I do if the show was halted. I told him that I’d not really thought about it being cancelled and I hadn’t any new projects in development”.

“We often map out a plan for the show by midyear. So, currently we’ve got no information about the future of this year’s show,” he noted.

Hai added that if the show continued to draw high viewing figures, they would do their utmost to ensure it would continue.

The show humorously criticises the problems Vietnam faces, including the economy, education, healthcare, transportation, and culture during the year.

The latest Tet’s show has received rave reviews for it’s brave and entertaining delivery.

Source Vietnamnet

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