Like water 

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A painter finds inspiration and a unique medium to work with in the most persistent and fluid element When Lao Tzu said "be like water" because one needed to be soft and yielding to overcome life's hardest and most rigid obstacles - like a stream flowing over the rocks - he might as well have been talking about artist Vo Trinh Bien. For Bien, 46, water is not only a central theme in his work, but in fact the medium on which he paints. He got the idea while thinking about how oil slicks are collected off the surface by water after spills: Bien puts a sheet of jute under water and uses a syringe to create a painting on the water's surface. Then, he either lifts the jute or drains the container to watch his colors settle gently onto the sheet. Bien's favorite painting, and perhaps the most emblematic of his work, is called Thôi ta về với biển (We might as well return to the sea). "The sea is where the soul and body can become one… An artist is just like a drop of water in … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 14/8

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Short film series to be presented in HCM City Ten short films in the series Berlinale Shorts Go Abroad of the International Film Festival of Berlin will be screened at Cafe Thu Bay coffee shop this weekend. … [Read more...]

Abstract finger painting exhibition in Da Lat

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The paintings resemble pieces of Da Lat with an abstract style, which feature the emotions of Vo Trinh Bien. Painter Bien expressed his hope that his works would offer visitors new experiences. Painter Bien came from a poor family in Quang Ngai Province and matriculated at Da Lat University more than 20 years ago. He studied literature and worked part time to earn a living. When painter Bien first began painting 15 years ago, he used a more conventional approach, utilizing palm paintbrushes. Then, nearly 10 years ago, he had the idea of painting with his fingers instead. He said that finger painting is fascinating. … [Read more...]

Finger painting exhibition opens in Da Lat

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Nhan Dan Online - An exhibition entitled 'Dance of Spring', is showing 59 oil finger paintings by painter Vo Trinh Bien at Hoa Binh Exhibition Centre in Da Lat city, Lam Dong province. The paintings, selected from more than 100 works created by Bien in 2013, are experimentations with abstract style. Bien came from a poor family in Quang Ngai Province and matriculated at Da Lat University more than 20 years ago. He studied literature and worked part time to earn a living. When Bien first began painting, he used a more conventional approach, utilizing palm paintbrushes. Then he had the idea of painting with his fingers instead. He said that finger painting is fascinating. This art form has hidden nuances different from those of standard painting methods. For example, the artist can change a color's shade by applying different amounts of pressure with his fingers. Although the artist has to wash his hands with crude oil after every hour of painting to reduce the chemicals in … [Read more...]

Social News 21/1

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Trucks blamed for congestion on Hanoi Highway A nine-hour traffic jam on Hanoi Highway last Friday was due to a long line of container trucks heading for Truong Tho port complex while a road widening project has yet to get off the ground. Container trucks were moving inch by inch to Truong Tho port complex in Thu Duc District, causing serious congestion on other streets including Mai Chi Tho and Dong Van Cong in District 2. The Truong Tho port area comprises Phuoc Long 3, Transimex and Phuc Long inland container depots (ICD), and some steel and cement factories. At present, Hanoi Highway is the only way leading to the Truong Tho port area, so traffic often snarls this time of year as trading activity picks up in the lead up to the Lunar New Year holiday. Le Duy Hiep, general director of Transforwarding Warehousing Joint-Stock Corp. (Transimex-Saigon), told the Daily that Friday’s heavy traffic jam resulted from a narrow road leading to Truong Tho while an increasingly … [Read more...]

Vietnam police identify foreigner who died in Da Lat resort town

Police officers in Da Lat on Sunday afternoon said the dead man was Rubpeov Aleksand, 36, of Russian nationality, according to

Vietnamese police have identified the foreign man who was found dead hanging from a tree on a mountain in the Central Highlands tourist city of Da Lat on Saturday as a Russian national. Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper. About a month ago, the foreigner arrived in Da Lat and stayed at the H.B Hotel on Truong Cong Dinh Street. The man left the hotel on January 11 and was not seen until his body was found hanging from a pine tree on Hon Bo Mountain in Ward 12, about 12 km away from the heart of the city, on Saturday evening. Locals who discovered the body reported their finding to police, who then took the foreigner’s body down from the tree, examined the scene, and launched an investigation into the death. The body was transported to Cho Ray Hospital’s Forensic Medicine Center in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday, pending procedures for a handover to Russia. Competent agencies are coordinating with the Russian Embassy in Vietnam to handle the case. Like us on … [Read more...]

Flea markets spread in Ho Chi Minh City

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Initially born in rural areas flea markets, or chợ phiên in Vietnamese, have recently become the latest wrinkle in Ho Chi Minh City, offering a broad array of products at reasonable prices and adding diversity to the already vibrant metropolis. hợ phiên in Vietnam are unique and different from elsewhere because a chợ phiên is open for a couple of hours during the day in a certain public place and only takes place periodically. However, most flea markets in Ho Chi Minh City are open from the morning until late at night on weekends. In the countryside, a chợ phiên is also a meeting place for locals to exchange farming products. In Ho Chi Minh City, such a flea market sells all kinds of goods like any market but keeps its periodical characteristics - only gathering once a week or twice a month. More and more flea markets have opened in the city in recent years and visiting them is a favorite hobby of young people. A flea market in the city displays and sells different goods … [Read more...]

A beefy seven-course meal

Four of seven beef dishes: bo la lot, bo mo chai, bo sa te and cha dum / PHOTO: TAN NHAN

Just going by the nationalities and the national cuisines involved, one would expect something special. Henry Adams was Indian and French, and his wife, Huynh Thi Que was Vietnamese. Together, in the 1930s, they opened a small eatery at the Tan Hiep Market (now part of Chau Thanh District, the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang). They called it Au Pagolac, because it was situated next to a pagoda (also "pagoda" in French) and a lake (called "lac" in French). With the idea of serving a different main dish every day, they created seven beef dishes, but customers wanted all of them served together, every day. In 1949, the couple left Tan Hiep for Saigon (now HCMC) and opened an eatery in what is now Go Vap District. Three years, later, they moved to Nguyen Trai Street in Cho Lon (Big Market). The eatery was taken over by their youngest son Francois Adams, who, when immigrating to Paris in 1978, took the brand name Au Pagolac as well as the traditional recipes with him. In the … [Read more...]

3-D sewing

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Last week, Nguyen Thi Huu Hanh, 51, was granted a patent by the National Office of Intellectual property, crediting her with 3D embroidery in Vietnam. A Huu Hanh's 3D embroiled painting … [Read more...]

Ways out for apartment sale in tough times

dinh dung - thanh thuong Launching products Statistics of Jones Lang LaSalle Vietnam show that the number of apartments put up for sale is on the rise after interest rates are lowered. Specifically, in the last two quarters, some 1,200 apartments were launched in HCMC. Apartment supply rises significantly in the third quarter with multiple condo projects opened for sale. Most of these projects are near completion, or can hand over homes to buyers within this year, and in the mid-end segment. On May 26, Gia Dinh Real Estate Investment Co., through Hung Thinh Land as a broker, began to offer the condo project Nguyen Thuong Hien located at the corner of Nguyen Thuong Hien and Tran Binh Trong streets in Go Vap District, HCMC. … [Read more...]

Poor economy leaves city with dull X-mas celebrations

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Most Christian parishes in Ho Chi Minh have finished setting up their annual home and street decorations to welcome a new festive season over a week ago. Christmas celebrations in Ho Chi Minh seems to be quietermore quiet than usual as local Christians and businesses are all tightening their belts in the bad economyPhoto: SGTT Christian neighborhoods on Le Duc Tho street (Go Vap District), Pham The Hien (District 8), and Dong Den (Tan Binh) have all been lit up with colorful lights and Christmas cribs and trees. However, one can feel an air of austerity while walking through these areas, as the current economic depression has left many with a tight budget for Christmas celebrations. Nguyen Khanh, who lives on An Nhon, Go Vap, said he did not spend any money on new Christmas decorations this year. "I used what I bought last year, from Christmas balls, to lights and small statues. What is important is not the decoration itself, but the … [Read more...]

Singer My Le debuts kids fashion range

Vietnamese singer My Le launched her kids fashion label MisaMisu on Friday, with clothes for children for home, parties or formal events. There is a growing market for kids fashion in Vietnam, Le said. A child models clothes from the new MisaMisu range of fashion for kids - Photo: My Tran She said in Vietnam it was hard to find good quality children's wear, as the Chinese had flooded the market with cheap clothes and Western brands were too expensive. She said the MisaMisu range would be affordably priced and high quality with sets selling from VND150,000 to VND800,000 made from material from Korea, France and Germany. At the event the singer also released her new live CD/DVD, "My Le in Symphony" that she recorded at HCMC Opera House last March. The album produced in collaboration Phuong Nam Film has all her hits from the past 10 years and opera pieces such as Habanera from Carmen by Bizet and The Phantom of the Opera. The head office of MisaMisu is at 62/36 Truong Cong Dinh … [Read more...]

Princess, heel thyself

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The shoes fit and a palace beckons — Julietta Jameson is in Cinderella mode at a hotel in Vietnam. SHOES can really make a person feel like a princess. They can also have the opposite effect. In Australia my feet are considered small. In Vietnam they are thought humungous. And you will never feel more like a lumbering plebeian than when your European size 38s have been tittered at by the dainty-footed shoe salespeople in Hanoi, who delight in telling you the biggest size they have in stock is 37. For days in Vietnam - having overlooked packing heels and being in need of them for a function - I had been roaming around like Prince Charming and his slipper, only with the inverse quest. He was seeking a foot to fit a shoe. I was searching for a shoe to fit. It was in the mountain resort town of Dalat that I suddenly felt like Cinderella the moment she slipped her hoof into that glass slipper. I had asked the desk staff at my hotel if there was a place in town where I might … [Read more...]

A taste of romance

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With warm, hospitable service and a cozy atmosphere, Da Quy Restaurant is about as charming as it gets. Da Quy (Wild Sunflower) Restaurant in downtown Da Lat offers a romantic atmosphere of candles, roses and delectable food without the steep prices … [Read more...]

Mild tremors cause panic in parts of HCMC

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A mild earthquake rocked HCMC Friday night. Though no damage has been reported, the 3-4 plus Richter magnitude quake opened up cracks in some buildings in the city. Many residents in the downtown and outlying areas said they felt the earth shaking at around 8:30 p.m. … [Read more...]

Social News 6/7

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Ha Noi-Sapa link road gets Lao Cai approval The People's Committee of the mountainous Lao Cai Province has approved a plan to build a link road from Noi Bai – Lao Cai Highway to Sapa district, officials said last week. Chairman of the committee Doan Van Huong asked relevant units and locals to complete the necessary procedures to start the construction work soon, an official said. The 27 km-long link road is expected to be constructed with technological standards suitable to mountainous areas. According to the plan, the entire route will have nine bridges, including five viaducts, and four flyovers over streams. About 275 households will be shifted from 104 ha that will be used to build the road. The total investment under a BOT model (build-operate-transfer) is expected more than VND2.5 trillion (US$116.6 million). The payback period of the project is expected to be 24 years and eight months via toll collection. The construction is scheduled to begin in the first … [Read more...]

Vietnam to set up centre for underwater archaeology

Vietnam plans to build the country's first Centre for Underwater Archaeological Research in Hoi An this year, Nguyen Giang Hai, the head of Vietnam's Archaeology Institute, said on July 5. Hai said the centre, which has initial investment of VND200 billion (US$9.5 million), would boost research in underwater archaeology. "It's a very new science, but Vietnam has a 3,200km coastline. Many shipwrecks are yet to be discovered. The centre will help the country explore the precious value of underwater heritage and the history of our sea and islands," Hai said. "The institute has asked for advice from international archaeologists and scientists to build the centre," he said. The institute will submit a proposal for the centre to the Prime Minister for approval and funding later this year. Seafaring has been a way of life in Vietnam for more than 2,000 years. According to Hai, local people had stolen precious antiques from sunken ships, and 130,000 objects had been stolen in Ca Mau … [Read more...]

VN to set up centre for underwater archaeology

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Submerged treasures: A 700-year-old shipwreck salvaged in Quang Ngai Province. — File Photo QUANG NAM (VNS) — Viet Nam plans to build the country's first Centre for Underwater Archaeological Research in Hoi An this year, Nguyen Giang Hai, the head of Viet Nam's Archaeology Institute, told Viet Nam News yesterday. Hai said the centre, which has initial investment of VND200 billion (US$9.5 million), would boost research in underwater archaeology. "It's a very new science, but Viet Nam has a 3,200km coastline. Many shipwrecks are yet to be discovered. The centre will help the country explore the precious value of underwater heritage and the history of our sea and islands," Hai said. "The institute has asked for advice from international archaeologists and scientists to build the centre," he said. The institute will submit a proposal for the centre to the Prime Minister for approval and funding later this year. Seafaring has been a way of life in Viet Nam for more than … [Read more...]

Vietnamese businessman keen on promoting local garlic to world

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Five years ago, Nguyen Van Dinh, 33, drove his motorcycle around the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang to sell Ly Son garlic, a product from his hometown. Now, 80 tonnes of the garlic has been shipped to Thailand, Dubai, and Singapore. Dinh, who lives on Ly Son, an island district administered by the central province of Quang Ngai, said his decision on selling garlic instead of working as an engineer upset his mother a lot, whereas he is always keen on promoting this product. He initially bought hundreds of kilograms of Ly Son garlic and brought the volume to Da Nang, around which he drove his motorcycle to sell the vegetable of the onion family, and he then started approaching Big C, a French-owned supermarket chain. Ly Son garlic has been known in Vietnam for its distinctive delicious taste that other kinds of garlic cannot compare with, not to mention its benefits for health. As most supermarkets have their own suppliers, Dinh managed to convince Big C to buy only 10 … [Read more...]