Art & Entertainment Highlights for November 27

Hanoi hosts first experimental music fest

The capital city will host its first ever experimental music festival from November 30 to December 8.

The capital city will host its first ever experimental music festival from November 30 to December 8.

The Ha Noi New Music Festival 2013 will feature more than 50 Vietnamese and international musicians from the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Scandinavian nations who will perform in different venues.

In addition to electro-acoustic music, a range of contemporary chamber music will also be performed at the festival.

Vietnamese musician Vu Nhat Tan is expected to present his new commissioned composition at the Ha Noi New Music Festival 2013.

Apart from the concerts, festival goers will also be able to see interactive music productions, improvisations, music installations and music theatre in the city.

With “The Blind Spot” as its title, organisers said the festival not only seeks to change the invisibility of contemporary music on the local scene, filling the gaps in knowledge, but also generate synergetic effects to strengthen musical infrastructures between Viet Nam and the world.

Hub for Experimental Music&Art, which is organising the festival, said they plan to put the event on country’s annual festival agenda.

Participants need to register for a festival pass or individual entrance. For further information, please visit

Vietnam-Japan piano festival premieres

The first ever Japan-Vietnam piano festival will take place in Hanoi from November 27-29.

Young pianists Nguyen Le Binh Anh and Airi Katada will perform at Chu Van An High School on November 27, the Vietnam National Academy of Music on November 28 and the Hanoi Children’s Palace on November 29.

Nguyen Le Binh Anh, 16, is among the youngest Vietnamese classical piano talents. Anh received first prize at the Steinway Piano contest in Vietnam in 2011, second prize at the Steinway Regional Final 2012 in Singapore and third prize at the First International Piano Contest in Hanoi in 2010.

In 2011 alone, Anh won the Best Contestant title for the “Championship Intermediate” category (for ages 13-15) at the St George Eidsteddfod in Sydney, Australia, as well as first prize in the “Piano 19th Century” category and second prize in the “Piano Polyphony” category.

Airi Katada, 21, is a student of many famed Japanese pianists including Hiroko Izumi, Koo Ryeong Park, Katsunori Ishii, Reiko Kikuchi and Minoru Nojima. She is now studying at Tokyo Music College.

She has won several prestigious prizes and was one of the top five in the Sendai International Music Competition in 2013. She has played with many world-class orchestras in Japan, Poland and Russia.

Japanese pianist Ayuko Higuchi, who will act as a consultant for the festival, is a successful pianist in Japan who has won several prestigious prizes and certificates of merit from the Japanese Education Minister. She has delivered outstanding performances in many nations including the US and France and played at the 2008 Vietnam Festival accompanied by Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito.

She has performed 40 shows in Vietnam since 2004 to raise funds for underprivileged children. Later this year, Ayuko will organise other piano shows in Tokyo, Yokohama, Tohoku and Hanoi.

Palace posters depict exams in feudal times

People with an interest in Viet Nam’s education system during feudal times have a chance to figure out how examinations were conducted in the past at an exhibition in Hue.

The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre is displaying 50 posters in the former Royal Palace in collaboration with the Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam Centre in Ha Noi.

Each poster shows feudal-time examinations, examination halls, royal prints and certificates, as well as classrooms in Ha Noi and Hue.

Some of the posters also feature celebrations and banquets for students who came top of their classes and went on to become mandarins and the pride of the whole community. The month-long exhibition is free to the public, and celebrates the country’s educational traditions and feudal system from 1075 to 1919.

Cooking contest moves to HCM City for qualifier

Twenty two teams of chefs will compete in the HCM City region qualifying round of the Chiec Thia Vang (Golden Spoon) contest today.

Ly Huy Sang, deputy general director of Minh Long I, one of the organisers, said knowledge of nutrition is one of the most important criteria in the contest.

It aims to honour professional chefs who have researched into nutrition and introduced Vietnamese specialties and healthy dishes to tourists, he added.

Organised also by the HCM City Tourism Association and Business Support Agency, the contest takes place at Van Thanh Park, Binh Thanh District, from 7.30am. The results will be announced at 6pm the same day.

The contest attracted a total of 195 teams nationwide. Twenty four teams will qualify for the semi-final and receive a guaranteed VND30 million (US$1,500) each.

The semi-final will be held in Ha Noi on December 20 and HCM City on January 3, 2014.

Ten winners will go through to the final and get an assured VND40 million each.

The winner of the final will get VND1 billion, half each in cash and a Minh Long ceramic line made for hotels and restaurants. There will be three awards worth VND100 million each for the “most impressive,” “best decorated,” and “most nutritious” dishes.

Nam A Bank hosts charitable painting expo

Nam A Bank is hosting charity painting exhibition ‘Nho coi nguon – Huong tuong lai’ to raise funds for community projects such as building a kindergarten in Phu My District, Binh Dinh Province, giving scholarships to poor but studious students, taking care of the homeless elderly and donating to typhoon-hit victims in the central region.

On display are 16 artworks depicting landscapes and portraits as well as daily activities of popular artists such as Nguyen Trung, Nguyen Hai Anh, Do Ngoc Cuong and Pham Hoang Anh. Visitors can admire the beauty of lotus flowers, peaceful sceneries as well as the charm of women in portraits. Moreover, familiar daily life activities and still life will be witnessed.

Twenty oil-on-canvas pieces created by children donated by the MyFamilyMyArt group will express the innocence and endless creativity of children in landscapes, the world around them with villages, immense rice fields, winding roads and cute animals.

The show will run until Saturday at Nam A Bank, 201-203 Cach Mang Thang Tam Street in HCMC’s District 3.

Friends Reunited with jazz night at Sofitel Plaza

The French Institute in Vietnam hosts Jazz night Friends Reunited with Mezcal Jazz Unit and Vietnamese musicians at Sofitel Saigon Plaza Hotel tomorrow at 8 p.m. The French -Vietnamese art program, which combines jazz and Vietnamese traditional instruments will feature Mezcal Jazz Unit, led by Emmanuel de Gouvello (bass, composition).

The concert draws the participation of Tran Manh Tuan (saxophone), Nguyen Thi Hai Phuong (zither & t’rung (bamboo xylophone)), Nguyen Thu Thuy (viol & zither), Nguyen Anh Tan (lute), Emmanuel de Gouvello (bass), Christophe Azema (saxophone), Jean Marie Frédéric (guitar) and Vivian Pères (bass).

Sofitel Saigon Plaza Hotel is located at 17 Le Duan Blvd., District 1.

Italian cultural centre exhibits Vietnamese paintings

An exhibition of paintings by Vietnamese artist Dang Phuong Viet entitled ‘Sen Viet’ opened at the Casa Italia in Hanoi on November 25 as part of Vietnam-Italy Friendship Year 2013.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Lorenzo Angeloni said the exhibition rendered a space with bright colours and intriguing colour combinations in Casa Italia, the cultural centre that serves as a meeting place between Italy and Vietnam.

He expressed his thanks to Vietnamese artists, specifically Phuong Viet, who have helped forge cultural connections between Italy and Vietnam.

The exhibition showcases a modern interpretation of the lotus as a traditional symbol of beauty, resilience and enlightenment through special oil painting techniques and the use of colours. The artist’s choice of colours is challenging, with a seeming cacophony of hues ranging from acid greens to shocking fuchsias and fire-engine red, combining them harmoniously with surprising results. It seems that the painter is working more with emotions than with reality.

“An exhibition with a Vietnamese name, ‘Sen Viet’, featuring a symbol of Vietnam, being held in an Italian cultural centre certainly creates a harmonious feeling between Italy and Vietnam and between Europe and Asia”, commented Huong Giang, a visitor.

Hoang Hoa, another visitor, said: “When I am enjoying the paintings in the exhibition, I experience a feeling evocative of a sitting meditation retreat”.

Born in Hanoi in 1972, Dang Phuong Viet graduated from Hanoi Fine Arts University. Viet’s works mainly in oil on canvas in the language of modern realism. In the last fifteen years, Phuong Viet has showed works at a number of domestic and international exhibitions. In 2000, he was awarded a prize at the Hanoi Fine Arts Exhibition. He participated in the Asia-Pacific Exhibition and the ASEAN Fine Arts Awards in 2001, as well as in the Exhibition of the Hanoi UNESCO Fine Arts Centre in 2002.

Phuong Viet has become famous for his paintings of lotus flowers. According to the artist: “The flower has been a constant inspiration in art and poetry and the exhibition is an opportunity to expose foreign visitors to the beauty of the lotus flower, which is a powerful cultural symbol representing the noble soul and endless vitality of the Vietnamese people”.

The exhibition runs until December 9 at No.18 Le Phung Hieu Street.
Vietnam beauty queen faces criticism for her outfit
Vu Hoang Diep, the first Vietnamese woman to win a major beauty contest, the 2009 Miss International Beauty, faced public criticism for her “shocking” jeans, after the images were captured by two Singaporean newspapers.

Two news and entertainment newspapers in Singapore, The Straits Times and AsiaOne, captured some photos of Diep in which she was wearing torn jeans and a very short t-shirt at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City.

The headline in the Straits Times read, “Would you wear this? Vietnamese beauty queen’s daring outfit draws stares of disbelief”, included a comment that “She proved she could also turn heads off-stage.”

According to the article, “One woman was so shocked by the beauty queen’s outfit, she was caught staring with her mouth wide open.”

Some people said that the clothes were a way for her to show off her figure, while many others said she should have paid more attention to her dress, especially as she holds the crown for the 2009 Miss International Beauty.

Diep said she had received the news from a friend and was really surprised to know that foreign reporters took the photos.

“A few days ago I went to the airport to fly to Da Lat City to finish a role in a detective film. The role required this costume, which i thought a bit playful,” she said.

“I chose the clothes to get familiar with the role. Moreover, before arriving at the airport, I completed the filming of an interesting programme for teenagers,” Diep explained.

She added that she did not wear these clothes at a party or go to the pagoda in them, and did not think that they would cause a shock to the public. Diep noted that she would pay more attention to her style of dressing in the future.

Earlier, Vu Hoang Diep raised public concerns over her “shocking” fashion photos and certain things she said.