05/09/2006 — 16:51(GMT+7)
 

Ha Noi (VNA) – More than 300 paintings and 50 short stories chosen from thousands of entries by street children are being displayed in an exhibition on joint social security efforts by the Vietnamese Government and the European Commission (EC).

The exhibition, entitled "East and West, Home is Best," kicked off on May 9 in Ha Noi and was organised under a cooperation project between the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the EC.

On display were the best chosen from a painting and writing competition held by the Support Street Children Project, which drew the participation of street children from 10 cities and provinces in Viet Nam. 

The participants described their aspirations to have their own homes as well as the dangers they faced when wandering the streets.

Addressing the exhibition's opening ceremony, Dam Huu Dac, Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, said the project had a comprehensive impact because the beneficiaries include the street children themselves, their families and the community. 

Markus Cornaro, Head of the EC Mission to Viet Nam, expressed hope that there will be more families and street children in particular benefiting from the project in its next 16 months in operation.

The exhibition was held on the occasion of "European Day" (May 9) and will last until May 13. It aims to enhance the community's awareness of the street children and efforts in social activities for their security in Viet Nam. -Enditem

 
   

Vietnamese-French TV anchor and singer Marjolaine Bui-The has taken the plunge as an actress and is shooting for her first film in Ho Chi Minh City.

The presenter of Greg le Millionnaire, one of the most popular programs on the leading French channel TFI, is starring in a film made by expatriate Vietnamese director Othello Khanh for which shooting started last week.

The 25-year-old acts as Vanessa in Saigon Eclipse, a film based on the Story of Kieu, an epic Vietnamese poem written by Nguyen Du in the early 19th century. It deals with a worrying phenomenon in the Vietnam of today: trafficking of women.

The film narrates the tale of Kieu (played by Truong Ngoc Anh), a beautiful and talented actress, who is making a film with Kim (Dustin Nguyen), a hot young Hollywood director who returns to his native Vietnam to become a part of the new wave of Vietnamese cinema.

The film is produced by Kieu's uncle Henry and her mother Tu (Nhu Quynh). The fragile family balance is disrupted when Kieu falls in love with Kim and Henry loses all at the gambling tables.

Enter Vanessa, a foreign beauty, who is hired to be Kieu's stand-in, and heads begin to turn in her direction more than they should. She also becomes Kieu's best friend.

Henry resorts to shady ways to pay off his debts and the story plunges into the murky realm of human trafficking.

Bui-The told Thanh Nien that Vanessa bore many resemblances to her real life – she too is a Westerner of Vietnamese origin who goes back to her roots and discovers interesting things there.

Born and brought up in France, she is also a singer who has signed an exclusive one-year deal with Sony Music and released her first album Geisha last year.

The beauty, whose parents are Vietnamese, said Sony Music recently proposed an extension of the contract but she had decided to temporarily stop singing to concentrate on the film in Vietnam.

After Saigon Eclipse she plans to continue her film career but declined to comment on her plans.

Reported by Tram Anh – Translated by Thu Thuy

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Huynh Hong Son (C)  

The police’s attention has now turned to three other footballers in the Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) bribery scam in which the club allegedly ‘bought’ the 2000-01 V-League title.

One of them is Bui Xuan Thuy, a Saigon Port FC player, while the identity of the other two, from Da Nang and SLNA clubs, has not yet been revealed.

The police said Truong Tan Hai, arrested last year, hhad fingered Thuy for taking a bribe of VND30 million (US$1,900) from SLNA official Nguyen Huu Thang.

On Friday in Hanoi they asked Thuy to explain the allegations but did not reveal if he admitted anything.

Earlier this week, the police arrested two Saigon Port footballers Huynh Hong Son and Ho Van Loi also for bribery over the match-fixing scam.

So far, 11 people have been indicted for bribery, including five officials – Nguyen Hoang Thu, former director of sport in the central Nghe An province; Nguyen Hong Thanh, former SLNA managing director; Nguyen Thanh Vinh, SLNA head coach; Nguyen Huu Thang and Nguyen Xuan Vinh, SLNA assistant coaches; and six footballers, Truong Tan Hai, Huynh Hong Son, Ho Van Loi, Nguyen Phuc Nguyen Chuong, Nguyen Van Phung, and Bui Xuan Thuy.

Six of the 11 are in prison in Ha Tay province near Hanoi pending investigation.

In 2000-01 Thang allegedly bribed many footballers from Saigon Port, Song Da Nam Dinh, and HCMC Police for throwing games and enabling SLNA to win the title.

Reported by Viet Chien, Kap Thanh Long – Translated by Minh Phat

 
11:40' 20/04/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: AM 756993 gửi đến 996 để nhận ảnh này
Ao dai designed by Si Hoang.

VietNamNet – A programme on Vietnamese Ao Dai (traditional dress), with exhibition, conference and fashion show, will take place in

San Jose, California from April 18 to July 7.

 

The program Ao Dai: A Modern Design Coming of Age, organised by the Association of Vietnam Art (AVA) in San Jose, will focus on the history and role of ao dai in Vietnamese culture.

 

Fashion designers, professors and collectors in the US, such as Kieu Linh Valverde, Monica Tran, Le Phương Thao, and Chloe Dao, winner of the design contest at Bravo TV's Project Runway in New York recently, will join the event.

 

From Vietnam, collectors Trinh Bach, Ngo Viet Nam Son, and designers Sy Hoang, Minh Hanh, Le Minh Khoa will bring collections.

 

This is the biggest cultural event on ao dai in the US, under organisers and sponsors AVA, San Jose Blanket and Weaving Museum, Applied Materials, Piercey Toyota, Union Bank of California, Southwest Airlines and the San Jose Council.

 

According to organisers, participants will focus on the story of ao dai from the 18th century, looking at the 1930s under the Nguyen Dynasty, and its development and use in the 20th century, both in Vietnam and around the world.

 

According to designers, ao dai is a bridge linking culture, sentiment and economy between the Vietnamese community in Vietnam and the world.

 

“Vietnamese ao dai’s role is not aesthetic only. It is an ambassador of Vietnamese culture, history and tradition, on the way to integrate to the world. Its appearance in Hollywood and Paris, as artworks of prestigious fashion designers as Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Claude Montana and Richard Tyler, is strong evidence for its strength.” Organisers said.

 

(Source: TN)


(27-04-2006)

HCM CITY — Two American actors currently working with HCM City artists are swamping the traditional setting for Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare’s most famous play, for a modern Vietnamese one.

American director Mark Woollet and actress Candace Clift have been working with the city’s Theatre and Cinematography College since early April on a new production of the play.

Based in Lenox, Massachusetts at Shakespeare and Company, the two Americans specialise in training and educating directors, actresses and actors who regularly perform Shakespeare plays.

"Our experiment will combine Western and Eastern culture," Woollet said.

The play as staged in Viet Nam will use indigenous nha nhac (royal court music performed under the Nguyen Dynasty) and feature ao dai (Vietnamese long dress) and ao tu than (a four-panel traditional dress).

Woollet said that other features of Vietnamese culture would be included in the play to make the play even more relevant to local audiences.

Lan Huong, who plays Juliet, said she was able to learn more about Shakespeare through this new adaptation.

Ha Quang Van, head of HCM City’s Theatre and Cinematography College, said the play had often been performed in Viet Nam in the Western style with a Vietnamese director.

"This is the first Romeo and Juliet to feature Vietnamese culture and to be arranged by an American director. It promises to be fresh and interesting," Van added.

More than 20 students from the college will perform in the play. — VNS

Project Ao Dai

May 18, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chloe Dao, the winner of the second season of "Project Runway" on Bravo, made two appearances this weekend at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles to promote its new exhibition "Ao Dai: A Modern Design Coming of Age."

Dao, a sponsor of the exhibition, flew to San Jose from Houston with her mother, Luong Thuc Hue. At Saturday night's VIP reception, Chloe toured the exhibit of intricately detailed Vietnamese garments and answered questions from the guests, who paid $50 apiece for the event. She talked about her upcoming plans, her thoughts on the ao dai exhibition and who she's kept in contact with from "Project Runway."

Dao said she hasn't made an ao dai, but had wanted to make one for the weekend in San Jose. "I wanted to make my own interpretation, but I ran out of time," she said. Her mother, however, was wearing an ao dai she designed herself.

Of her "Project Runway" competitors, she said she still talks to Emmett McCarthy, Diana Eng, Nick Verreos and fellow finalist Daniel Vosovic. What about design diva Santino Rice, who was also a finalist at Fashion Week in New York? "I have Santino's number, but I haven't called him yet," Chloe said.

What's coming up for her? She hasn't done another collection since the showe ended but wants to get to one in the next year or so. Smiling, she said she also hasn't gotten her "Project Runway" winnings and hopes she gets her money and her car soon.

April 26, 2006

SiHaong_red_clip.jpg
Rarely have I been to an exhibit where the museum guests were wearing the same article of clothing as was on display. (Well, usually i don't go to exhibits where the art is wearable, that's true, too.)

But not so last weekend in San Jose, where I kept taking sneak peaks at the women and girls running around in ao dai (pronounced "ow yie" or "ow zie") –many of which were equally beautiful, if less ornate, than the pieces on show.

I have to say, the ao dai is the ideal outfit. The long tunic is form fitting enough to give you shape but covers up a host of figure faults, and the loose pants underneath mean you can ride bikes, squat, do high kicks, or conquer the world a la Katherine Hepburn, but Asian style.

I'm a skirt girl, not just because my fundamentalist Christian elementary school required dresses everyday. No, because I have such trouble finding pants that fit. and jeans? forget it. But when it's cold (can't wear snowpants under the skirt anymore, like in Kansas) sometimes you just want a little more. That's where the ao dai would be perfect.

However, you won't see me sporting one anytime soon. Why? Because I would feel like it's 1) cultural misappropriation or 2) fetishizing / calling attention to my Asian-ness in my workplace that is almost entirely white (not to mention confusing them with the whole Chinese vs. Vietnamese vs. Japanese thing [a lot of people think i'm japanese even though i'm Chinese American –it's a long story]).

I've been accused of being too literal, and perhaps it's true. I don't have a problem eating Vietnamese food or hanging Lao art on my walls, but I guess clothing is a claim of identity. Am I taking it too seriously to feel that I'd be pretending to be something that I'm not? Or, perhaps worse, "dressing up" as Vietnamese, as if it were a Halloween costume?

There was a white woman and her daughter at the exhibit wearing matching ao dai and I couldn't stop looking at them either, trying to figure out what they were about. Had they lived in Vietnam, did they hang out with the Vietnamese community, did they in fact have a "right" to be wearing one?

And I know, how ridiculous is that? How can you go around judging and drawing lines as to who can wear what? But after seeing so many people running around with chinese character tattoos, people ordering "chai tea," creepy men extolling the virtues of Asian women, you just start to be a little skeezed out by stuff like that. Very scientific analysis, skeezed out.

But I digress. I wanted to tell you that the exhibit, held for the next 3 months at the San Jose Quilt and Textile Museum, is definitely worth a trip. Even better if you stop for some pho on your way (i hear SJ's got the best in the bay area).

I like exhibits of things that are usable, or used… Things that were held in people's hands, absorbed their smells or held their food or ink or babies. And this is that kind of exhibit –you can see how tiny some of the women were, how meticulously their garments were sewn, and the crazy ways they've been adapted –with Indian quiliting techniques, as above, with ruffles and lace in the Victorian era, or with the psychedelic prints of the 60s. it's a small exhibit, but has an impressive range.

They've also got a menu of lectures through June, if you go for that kind of stuff. Find out more by clicking here.

Posted by jennifer at April 26, 2006 10:47 AM