National Traditional Boat Races closes; Youth Theatre introduces Korean traditional music to Vietnam; Photographic exhibition on Vietnam-Laos friendship; Photography camp opens in northern region
National Traditional Boat Races closes
The host team from Quang Tri won first prize in the National Traditional Boat Races on the Thach Han River, which wrapped up on July 10.
The winning team earned seven gold, three silver and four bronze medals. The team from Binh Thuan came in second and An Giang placed third.
This year’s event attracted 240 athletes from seven teams across the country to compete in 200-metre, 500-metre and 1,000-metre races for 18 sets of medals.
The race is part of the framework of the National Tourism Year Northern Central Coastal Area 2012.
Youth Theatre introduces Korean traditional music to Vietnam
A Korean traditional music programme titled “Cookin’ NANTA” will be held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from July 20-29.
Four artists cast as cooks will play household utensils as musical instruments and later instruct a nephew of the manager to cook and make a wedding cake for the party.
The event is organized by the Youth Theatre of Vietnam in co-ordination with the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Sejung-pia Company to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Vietnam-RoK diplomatic ties.
Photographic exhibition on Vietnam-Laos friendship
Sixty photos of Laos’ land and people and Laos-Vietnam friendship will be displayed at the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts in Hanoi next week.
The exhibition will be held during Lao Cultural Days (July 17-19) to celebrate the 2012 Year of Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity, the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Laos, and the 35th anniversary of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Cooperation Treaty.
On this occasion, there will be cultural, art and sports activities; as well as seminars and forums on trade, investment and tourism promotion.
Photography camp opens in northern region
The photography camp for northern mountainous provinces opened on Sunday in Dien Bien Phu City, Dien Bien Province.
Forty members of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA) from 15 provinces and cities are attending the camp, representing Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Son La, Yan Bai, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Bac Can, Lang Son, Bac Giang, Thai Nguyen, Hoa Binh, Phu Tho and Vinh Phuc.
The eight-day camp offers a series of programmes including sightseeing and workshops, aiming to inspire participants to create high quality literary and artistic works featuring the lives of the local people.
The event, sponsored by the VAPA and the Dien Bien provincial Literature and Arts Association, provides an opportunity for VAPA members in the region to meet each other and exchange experiences and ideas.
The organising board will select 80 of the best photos to display at an exhibition promoting tourism in the region.
A life beyond the streets
On July 22, the Sozo cafe on Bui Vien will host an art exhibition featuring, amongst others, the work of new Saigon artist, Le Huynh Minh Hieu. Aimed at raising money for the Green Bamboo Shelter for At Risk Boys, the exhibition will mark a further step in a remarkable journey for Hieu.
Hieu came to Saigon, aged 12, from Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta five years ago. After spending some time living on the streets and earning a living finding work repairing and painting motorbikes, Hieu was taken to the Green Bamboo Shelter on Calmette Street by a concerned xe om driver. It was here, during one of the shelter’s many educational projects, that Hieu discovered his love of - and talent for - painting. While all the boys enjoyed learning to paint, it was Hieu who showed the most commitment; sometimes going as far as staying up all night to finish work on a painting.
Hieu’s enthusiasm and skill is there to see in all of his canvasses. In his painting, Hieu seems to find a confidence that most of his life has worked to take away from him. He paints in bold and bright oils. His pictures are bright, colourful and full of life.
However, even art comes at a cost and, as part of its commitment to children like Hieu, the Green Bamboo Shelter has found itself running numerous fundraising events to help keep Hieu in canvass and oil. It’s a significant investment of both time and resources for a shelter for whom funds are clearly in short supply. Hidden down a narrow alley at the bottom of Calmette Street, the Green Bamboo Shelter was founded by Do Thi Bach Phat in 1992 and has been offering an open door to the neediest and most vulnerable of Saigon’s street children ever since. Every day Saigon sees fresh arrivals of children from all over the rural South, each hoping to find work and money on Saigon’s streets. Of these, only a lucky few will find themselves under Miss Phat’s watchful eye.
The reasons children come to Saigon are myriad. It was his parent’s divorce that brought Hieu here, bereavement and sometimes imprisonment bring others. What they all share is poverty. Once in Saigon, these children find themselves easy prey for those looking to get the most from those that have the least. Theft, drugs and prostitution are often the fates awaiting Saigon’s latest young arrivals and, once in, it’s a cycle few of these children will ever break free from.
However, all of this seems a far cry from the quiet top floor room at the Green Bamboo Shelter where Hieu has made his studio. Like his heroes, Picasso and Duong Bich Lien, Hieu has real hopes of living out his dream of being an artist. It’s a life unimaginable from the perspective of the one he left behind. “I have a hard life” he says, “painting helps me forget that and relax. When I’m painting, I can make my dreams real.”
The Art For A Better Home exhibition and sale will be at Sozo Cafe on Sunday 22nd July from 12pm - 10pm. 100% of the money raised will go towards Hieu and the boys of the Green Bamboo Shelter.
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