Exhibition showcases painter’s evolution

Exhibition showcases painter’s evolution

Artist Luong Luu Bien’s most recent exhibition, Evolution, alongside his first show Fossils from 2009 is on show at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza until April 20, hosted by the Craig Thomas Gallery.

As referred to in the title Evolution, Bien’s current exhibition is a series of paintings that radiate feelings of lightness, movement and, in some cases, unrestrained joy, and marks a dramatic change from the heavy and melancholy tone that has been the hallmark of Bien’s earlier work.

“What has not changed is his unique sense of style in which employs techniques learned studying lacquer painting to create mixed media works that have the effect of being sculptures painted onto canvas,” said the press release.

“I am intrigued by a theatre movement I once heard of where the actors put on plays without any costumes or make-up and yet still managed to make audiences lose themselves in the story,” Bien said.

“I feel the same way about my paintings. The artistic language of my paintings should be enough to create a mood or mental state and there is no need for clothing or imagery to clarify things any more than that. I am more concerned with viewers ‘feeling’ my paintings than I am with their ‘understanding’ them.”

The characters in Bien’s paintings are depicted naked and placed in a world devoid of any context but colour.

Promoting Vietnamese culture in Germany

Diverse cultures of different ethnic Vietnamese groups were introduced to Germans and international visitors at a festival held on February 23 by the Vietnamese Association in Leipzig city.

The event, part of a local trade fair, featured dozens of well-prepared art performances staged by Vietnamese people residing across Germany. Notably, martial arts, mono-cord performances and traditional dances won thunderous applause from the audience.

Among distinguished guests at the event was Uwe Albrecht, Mayor of Leipzig city, who was excited about Vietnamese art performances.

He said he has received strong support from the Leipzig-based Vietnamese Association and the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany for his previous trips to Vietnam.

He expressed hopes Leipzig will reach more cooperation agreements with Vietnam in the near future.

Pham Viet Chien, Counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy, affirmed the event not only helps to strengthen solidarity among the Vietnamese community in Germany, but also contributes to promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Iranian films to be screened in March

Six films produced by Iranian directors will be shown to audiences at the Cinematheque, 22A Hai Ba Trung Street, early next month.

The films include Someone Wanna Talk to You; Mr Yousef; Kanaan; I’m His Wife; I’m Sleepy and Hidden Sense.

All films will be dubbed into Vietnamese.

The free screenings, from March 4 to 7, will begin at 7pm.

The event is being held to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Room to Read hosts book corner at City hotel

Room to Read (RtR), an organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in education across Asia and Africa, is displaying books collected from across Asia in a “Sharing is Caring Corner” in the lobby of the Hotel Equatorial in HCM City.

The three-day event is organised by the hotel and RtR’s co-sponsor Dun and Bradstreet Asia Pacific Partnerships.

Organisers will present a tea talk from 3-5pm tomorrow in the lobby lounge, explaining how RtR has helped Viet Nam. Donations given to RtR will be accepted from February 25 to March 25 and given to RtR libraries in the country.

Launched in 1999 by American John Wood, RtR began after the former senior executive at Microsoft visited Nepal and witnessed the lack of reading resources. He then quit his job and built a global team to work with rural villages worldwide to build sustainable solutions to education challenges.

For more information about RtR projects, see www.roomtoread.org.

Ten bilingual folktales help teach English

The bilingual edition of Viet Nam’s picture folktales has been released in Vietnamese and English by the Kim Dong Publishing House.

Ten stories were introduced in the first phase including Chuyen Ong Giong (The Story of Saint Giong); Son Tinh, Thuy Tinh; Su Tich Ho Guom (The Legend of Sword Lake); Tam Cam; and Thach Sanh.

Famous writers behind the titles include To Hoai, Vu Tu Nam and Mai Long.

The copies are expected to help improve the English skills of Vietnamese children who want to learn about traditional folklore and aid the understanding of foreigners.

The publisher also said it hoped the books would be given as gifts to foreign children and overseas Vietnamese children, who want to enjoy Vietnamese literature.

MS Europa 2 brings visitors to Phu Quoc island

German cruise ship MS Europa 2 docked at Duong Dong port of Kien Giang province’s Phu Quoc Island district on February 24, bringing 600 passengers, mainly European visitors, to the island.

The ship departed from Thailand’s Pattaya port on a trans-national tour, and Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island is one of its stopovers.

During their Vietnam tour, organised by Sea Star Travel Company and Saigontourist Company, visitors spent one day exploring the island and shopping, and they left for HCM City later the same day.

 This is the second international cruise ship coming to Phu Quoc Island this year.

According to Huynh Quang Hung, vice president of the Phu Quoc commune People’s Committee, the number of sea travelers to Phu Quoc has increased significantly in recent times.

“We expect a surge in numbers of foreign sea travellers, mostly from Russia, to Phu Quoc this year,” he said.

HCM City to commemorate founder of Buddhist sect

A series of activities to commemorate 60 years since the “disappearance” of Patriarch Minh Dang Quang, founder of the Tang Gia Khat Si (Mendicant Buddhist Sect), will take place in Ho Chi Minh City on February 25 – March 2.

Patriarch Quang, real name Nguyen Thanh Dat, was born in the southern province of Vinh Long in 1923 to a family of devout Buddhists. He followed in their footsteps, expounding Buddha’s teachings through 69 booklets and beginning the Tang Gia Khat Si train of thought. His guidelines for followers to study and follow were later compiled into a thick book entitled “Chon Ly” (the Truth), which is a combination of both Mahayana and Theravada ideals.

During his religious practices, Quang set up over 20 monasteries with hundreds of monks and nuns nationwide.

On one mission from Sa Dec to Can Tho, he reportedly died in a traffic accident. His followers, however, refuse to acknowledge his death and still mark his disappearance each year.

During the period, statues of the Patriarch and Buddha will be unveiled, plus a photo exhibition about his life. A ceremony to release flower-shaped lanterns and pray for peace and well-being will be held while over 1,200 monks and nuns will go on begging rounds.

On the occasion, 1,500 sets of gifts will be handed over to homeless and poor children.

A workshop titled “The Mendicant Buddhist Sect: Establishment, Development and Integration” will be hosted by the HCM City’s Vietnam Buddhist Research Institute, the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute for Religious Studies and the Vietnam Mendicant Buddhist Sect.

Quang’s group was among nine founding members of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in 1981.


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