July 9, 2006
Last updated: 15:54 – July 8, 2006
Paintings by Vietnamese artists are being exhibited at Palazzo Valenlini, Vittoriano Square in Rome, Italy on the occasion of Vietnamese Culture Month. The exhibition, called “Dragon and Butterfly”, shows more than 80 paintings by more than 30 Vietnamese artists of various generations from the time of two resistance wars until today.
The event, which runs until July 16, is the highlight of a Festival of Vietnamese Culture organised by the Province of Rome as part of its wide-ranging Spring Festival. The works are the fruits of painters like Pan Ke An, Khuc Thanh Binh, Nguyen Thanh Binh, Trong Cat, Thanh Chuong, Le Thiet Cuong, Do Quang em, Quach Dong Phuong, Dinh Thi Tham Phong, Phan Cam Thuong, and Le Quoc Viet.
Four lacquer and two oil-on-cavas works, which are considered the honour of Vietnamese painting, have also been selected from the collection of the Vietnam Fine Art Museum to present, including Hoc Nghe (Appreticeship, 1967) by Le Ngoc Hieu, Lao Dong Vi Mien Nam (Labouring for the South, 1966) by Nguyen Trong Cap and Nguyen Thanh Ngoc, Nang Chieu (Sunset, 1944) by Cao Trong Thiem, Nho Mot Chieu Tay Bac (Missing an Afternoon in the Northwestern Region, 1955) by Phan Ke An, Dem Binh Lang (Binh Lang Night, 1975) by Do Dong and Chuan Bi Vuot Song (Prepare to Cross the River, 2000) by Nguyen Hoang.
Also in the exhibition are costumes of ethnic minority groups in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam, along with some minority groups from the south, like Van Kieu, Ede, Gia Rai, Cham and Khmer. The costumes are selected from 260 outfits collected by the Vietnamese Arts Museum.
The Vietnam Arts Museum will also present four lacquer and two oil paintings selected from its archives, including Apprenticeship by Le Ngoc Hieu (1967), Labouring for the South by Nguyen Trong Cap (1966), Sunset by Cao Trong Thiem (1944), Missing an Afternoon in the Northernwestern Region by Phan Ke An (1955), Binh Lang Night by Do Dong (1975), and Prepare to Cross the River by Nguyen Hoang (2000).
Painter Thanh Chuong, whose painting is also on display, says “this is the biggest exhibition abroad that I have ever attended. The paintings are displayed in a place especially reserved for world renowned painters, which surprise Vietnamese artists. This shows that Vietnam’s fine art are integrating into the world art. This exhibition make Italian art lovers know about Vietnam’s country and people’.
Thanh Chuong added that Vietnam’s art was going in the right path, and he feels more confidence about himself and about Vietnam’s fine art. “The success of the “Dragon and Butterfly” Exhibition is beyond expectation” said Thanh Chuong.
The exhibition is the opportunity for Vietnamese painters to assert their abilities. The paintings were chosen for display by Italian fine art experts, including critic Angelo Bucarelli.
Meanwhile, Director of Vietnam’s Fine Arts Museum, Truong Quoc Binh is proud because several of the Museum’s paintings are exhibited in Palazzo Valentini.
“I have been to Italy many times but I have never been so excited. Italian people were really attracted by our by our culture,” said Truong Quoc Binh, director of the Hanoi National Fine Arts Museum.
The “Dragon and Butterfly” exhibition owns its success to Italian reporter and writer Corrado Rugger and overseas Vietnamese businessman Nguyen Huu Hung, Mr Binh added.
Having been to Vietnam many times, Rugger came to love the country and was impressed with its culture. He persuaded Mayor Enrico Gasbarra to invite Vietnam to the Spring Festival with the programes of painting exhibition, fashion shows, cuisine, trade and tourism conferences.
Vietnamese Italian Nguyen Huu Hung, who returned to Vietnam in 1995, was granted the Knight title by Italian Government in 2000 for his contribution to strengthening the friendship between Vietnam and Italy.
The two men started their preparation for the exhibition in 2005.
(Tien Phong newspaper)
July 5, 2006
| Some 100 20th-century works at Vittoriano complex (ANSA) – Rome, July 4 – A new exhibition at Rome’s Vittoriano complex spotlights one of the rising stars of the world art scene – Vietnam .
The show, entitled the Dragon and the Butterfly, features around 100 paintings that give visitors a view of the Oriental nation’s art in the 20th century and the latest trends .
The event, which runs until July 16, is the highlight of a Festival of Vietnamese Culture organized by the Province of Rome as part of its wide-ranging Spring Festival .
“Rome is acting as a door to apparently distant artistic delights, which globalization is turning into new forms of expression that are increasingly accessible to other cultures,” explained Province of Rome Culture Councillor Vincenzo Vita .
“The provincial government has an international outlook. It is increasingly looking to the Orient and offering itself as an anchor (in Europe) for these new, explosive cultural phenomena”. Vietnamese painting kicked off in earnest in the first half of the 20th century, when the French colonial rulers founded the Fine Arts College of Indochina (FACI). Since then the nation’s art has been under the influence of the former colonial power, as well as to its northern neighbour China. But experts stress that Vietnamese art has managed to emerge from shadows of these cultures, especially in recent decades, to forge an unmistakable national identity. In doing so it has also released creative impulses repressed by centuries of foreign domination, they say .
Works by Vietnamese painters are now highly sought after on international markets, especially in France .
The exhibition opens with a range of traditional-style lacquer paintings, which artists in the 1950s used to tell the story of the war of independence from France. There are also the beautifully simple works of Nguyen Thanh Binh, perhaps Vietnam’s most popular artist, and hyperrealist paintings by Do Quang Em. The exhibition features some video installations too, as well as a series of traditional costumes of the country’s 57 different ethnicities .
The curator of the show is Truong Quoc Binh, the director of the Hanoi National Fine Arts Museum, which lent many of the pieces on display. “We Vietnamese consider Italy to be very close to us,” said Quoc Binh. “We love its art and other aspects of its culture – in soccer we cheer on the Azzurri”. The Festival of Vietnamese Culture also includes the screening of a selection of Vietnamese movies, conferences on development projects and tourism in the eastern country and a culinary bonanza at Rome’s Citta’ del Gusto (City of Taste) .
There will also be a photography exhibition entitled Images of Vietnam .
|© Copyright ANSA. All rights reserved||2006-07-04 10:20|
June 13, 2006
|Roman holiday: A creation by Minh Hanh will be presented during a fashion show in Rome. — Photo Courtesy of Italian Embassy|
Residents of Italy’s capital city will have a chance to learn about the modern and traditional expressions of Vietnamese culture during a festival set to kick off this month.
Scheduled to begin on June 16, the month-long celebration entitled The Dragon and Butterfly: Vietnamese Culture in Rome will depict various special cultural events, including art exhibitions, fashion performances, culinary shows and movie programmes.
The festival will commence with the inauguration of an art exhibit titled The Vietnamese Contemporary Painting at the Museum of Vittoriano, one of Rome’s most prestigious museums, where 80 selected works of 20 popular Vietnamese painters, including Thanh Chuong, Le Thiet Cuong, Do Quang Em, Quach Dong Phuong, Khuc Thanh Binh and Ngo Ba Hoang, will be presented.
A photo exhibit by the Italian Ambassador to Viet Nam, Alfredo Matacotta, will present 40 images of Viet Nam’s people and landscapes, which have fascinated the ambassador since he arrived in 2004.
According to the ambassador, the exhibition will present the beauty and value of Viet Nam and its culture to Italian people who have only studied Viet Nam through its war history.
In addition, a fashion performance presenting 60 creations by Vietnamese designer Minh Hanh will take place at the city’s Palazzo Valentini.
"Words cannot describe my happiness to present my creations in Rome, one of the world’s fashion capitals. I hope the collection, which is created from Vietnamese materials and will be presented by Vietnamese models, will contribute to promoting our unique culture," she said.
Costumes of 16 ethnic minorities in northern Viet Nam, which are selected from the 286-costume collection at the Viet Nam Fine Arts Museum, will be presented in order to reveal the living and cultural customs of ethnic people in Viet Nam to Italians.
Four lacquer and two oil-on-canvas works, which are considered the honour of Vietnamese painting, have also been selected from the collection of the museum to present, including Hoc Nghe (Apprenticeship, 1967) by Le Ngoc Hieu, Lao Dong Vi Mien Nam (Labouring for the South, 1966) by Nguyen Trong Cap and Nguyen Thanh Ngoc, Nang Chieu (Sunset, 1994) by Cao Trong Thiem, Nho Mot Chieu Tay Bac (Remembering an Afternoon in the Northwestern Region, 1955) by Phan Ke An, Dem Binh Lang (Night in Binh Lang, 1975) by Do Dong and Chuan Bi Vuot Song (Prepare Passing the River, 2000) by Nguyen Hoang.
A live broadcast food show also will be organised to display Vietnamese culinary creations that a large number of Europeans are not familiar with. Gourmet-lovers will not only have a chance to taste Vietnamese cuisine, but also to observe cooking methods while Vietnamese chefs prepare the dishes in an open kitchen.
Some award-winning movies will be screened during a Vietnamese movie festival entitled Nights of Cinematography being held at Vittorio Gardens. Movies include Chuyen Cua Pao (Pao’s Story) by director Ngo Quang Hai, Thung Lung Hoang Vang (Deserted Valley) by director Pham Nhue Giang, Ba Mua (Three Seasons) by Vietnamese-American director Tony Bui, Mui Du Du Xanh (Scent of Green Papaya), Xich Lo (The Cyclo) and Mua He Chieu Thang Dung (Vertical Rays of Sun) by Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung.
Workshops on tourism and economic co-operation between Viet Nam and Italy will also be organised during the festival. — VNS
June 12, 2006
The Italian capital Rome will host for the first time a festival on contemporary Vietnamese culture beginning next week.
The Italian embassy in Hanoi said the month-long festival, themed Dragons and Butterflies would feature photography, movies, arts, fashion, travel, and food.
Dragons represented power and butterflies, charm and delicacy, an Italian journalist explained.
Rome’s Mayor Enrico Gasbarra said the festival was part of a spring festival comprising over 600 cultural events.
It was an opportunity to promote trade between Vietnam and Italy.
“We are convinced the Roman public will receive the Vietnamese Cultural Festival with great interest.”
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Culture Le Tien Tho will be present at the opening ceremony June 16.
Vietnamese films will be shown at the Monumento a Vittorio Emanuelle II, the largest public square in Rome, and paintings at the Vittoriano Museum Complex.
The museum curator Alessandro Nicosia said it was an opportunity to popularize Vietnamese arts in Europe.
“The exhibition is really interesting and suggestive. It is an art that has not been very well-known in Europe and we are proud to be the first to showcase it,” he added.
Valentini Palace will host a photographic exhibition of Alfredo Matacotta Cordella, Italy’s ambassador to Vietnam, comprising splendid images depicting daily life in Vietnam and reflecting the country’s natural beauty, places, and people.
There are over 3,000 people of Vietnamese origin living in Italy.
June 1, 2006
The first "Vietnamese Cultural Month in Italy" will be held in Rome from June 16, said Enrico Gasbarra, President of the Province of Rome at a press conference on May 23.
This cultural activity will be jointly organised by the Province of Rome, Air France, Cofthecs Service and UBS Financial Services Inc.
During the month, an exhibition titled ‘Dragon and Butterfly’ is expected to open on June 16 and will display nearly 100 Vietnamese modern artistic works, including oil paintings, lacquer paintings and Vietnamese people's costumes.
Other events include an exhibition displaying photos of the land and people of Vietnam taken by the Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Alfredo Matacotta Cordella, a fashion show by designer Minh Hanh featuring Vietnam's traditional long dresses, and three seminars.
The organisers also plan to introduce the people of Rome to Vietnamese cuisine and will screen the film ‘Mui du du xanh’ (The Scent of Green Papaya).
Speaking at the press conference, Mr Gasbarra expressed the view that Vietnam is becoming much more developed, and is now an attractive destination for Italian people.
The Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Nguyen Van Nam expressed his thanks for the Italian people's friendship towards Vietnam over the past years. He said that Vietnam is trying hard to build a rich and civilised country with regional and international co-operation. (VNA)
June 1, 2006
|16:21' 31/05/2006 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNet – Eighty artworks by 30 Vietnamese painters will be displayed at an exhibition of modern Vietnamese art at the Palazzo Vittoriano Museum in Rome, Italy, from June 16 to July 16, 2006.
The exhibition is one of several activities of the Vietnamese Cultural Days in Rome. This is considered a rare chance for Vietnamese painters to introduce their works to Italian art lovers.
The exhibition is the pride and also a challenge for Vietnamese artists, whose works are being shown for the first time.
Nguyen Huu Hung (a Vietnamese Italian who returned to Vietnam in 1995 and was granted the Knight title by the Italian government in 2000 for his contribution to strengthening the friendship between Vietnam and Italy) takes an important role in organizing this exhibition.
Mr Hung said that under the assistance of the Vietnam Arts Museum, Gallery Apricot, Gallery Art Vietnam, some Vietnamese collectors of paintings and experts, the organizers selected 80 modern artworks to show in the exhibition. The works are the fruits of painters like Phan Ke An, Khuc Thanh Binh, Nguyen Thanh Binh, Trong Cat, Thanh Chuong, Le Thiet Cuong, Do Quang Em, Quach Dong Phuong, Dinh Thi Tham Phong, Phan Cam Thuong, and Le Quoc Viet.
Also in the exhibition will be costumes of ethnic minority groups in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam, along with some minority groups from the south, like Van Kieu, Ede, Gia Rai, Cham and Khmer. The costumes are selected from 286 outfits collected by the Vietnam Arts Museum.
The Vietnam Arts Museum will also present four lacquer and two oil paintings selected from its archives, including Learning a trade by Le Ngoc Hieu (1967), Work for the South by Nguyen Trong Cap (1966), Evening sun by Cao Trong Thiem (1994), Missing an afternoon in the northwestern region by Phan Ke An (1955), Binh Lang night by Do Dong (1975), and Prepare to cross the river by Nguyen Hoang (2000).
(Source: Van Hoa)
May 30, 2006
Nguyen Huu Hung is a cultural ambassador – this year he is organising a festival that treats Italians to a little taste of Vietnamese culture. My Ha reports.
For one month from June 16 to July 16, The Dragon and Butterfly Festival treats audiences in Rome to a feast of food, fashion, film screenings and art exhibitions. Helping to make it happen is Nguyen Huu Hung, who has lived in Italy for 24 years. Hungactivities range from promoting Vietnamese trade to culture, education to sport and tourism to the arts. Awarded the Knighthood by the President of Italy for his work on promoting the relationship between Viet Nam and Italy, Hung spoke about the sweet and elegant Vietnamese "invasion" of Rome’s Spring festival.
Inner Sanctum: What is the weather like in Rome in June?
It will be very nice with temperatures at 25oC, while June is the hottest month in Ha Noi.
Inner Sanctum: How did you come up with the idea for such a big cultural event for Viet Nam?
Well, it is actually a two-sided story. First, journalist Corrado Ruggeri fell in love with Viet Nam. He also has a good relationship with the Roma Province government. Second, the Italian Embassy in Ha Noi is giving tourist visas to participants for free and I added my personal lobby efforts to this as well. It took one year for all our efforts to finally come together. The festival is called Dragon and Butterflies representing the country (dragon) and the ao dai (butterflies), as Ruggeri visualises.
Inner Sanctum: Besides the war with the US, what impression do Italians have of Viet Nam?
Italians don’t know Viet Nam well at all. During the war in Viet Nam, Italy as a country with a non-communist government sided with the Vietnamese people. In Italy, the Communist Party was very strong at that time for a non-communist country. I once saw a photo of a demonstration in 1968 in Rome, where I saw so many yellow starred and blue and red flags.
The students who took to the streets to protest against the war in Viet Nam were then called the sessantotini (the sixtiers). They are now in their sixties and many of them have had successful careers. They had lived with Viet Nam during the most beautiful years of their youth and now they would be delighted to visit the country in person. Many of them want to go to Viet Nam, but they still don’t know how.
Our company once participated in a tourism exhibition and many Italians were very surprised to see our booth. They asked when had Viet Nam opened to international tourists. They wanted to know if it’s safe to travel in Viet Nam and whether they could find bread to eat.
For all these reasons, we are very enthusiastic to prepare for this event.
Inner Sanctum: Besides the cultural activities, what tourism activities are you looking at?
There will be seminars on economic trends and tourism and investment opportunities in Viet Nam. Those who have some interest in Viet Nam were very delighted to hear General Giap’s speech during the 10th Congress of the Communist Party in Ha Noi. His call for rejuvenating the leadership and proceeding with further reforms received considerable approval among the sessantotini.
Inner Sanctum: The Roma Spring Festival attracts about three million tourists. What do you hope to achieve at the festival?
We hope to leave a positive image of Viet Nam not only with Italian people but also international tourists who visit Rome during this time. We also hope that Vietnamese artists get a chance to display their works in the heart of the world of art, and will therefore be more confident with their works.
With the food presentation at the Theatro della Cucina (Cooking Theatre) in the Citta del gusto (City of tastes), we hope that Vietnamese food will be tasted by Italy’s best food critics, who could recommend Italian wines to accompany the dishes.
I think at this series of events, many Italians will find out that Italy and Viet Nam has a lot in common. One of the ingredients used in ancient cooking called gacum comprises of anchovy and salt and it tastes exactly like nuoc mam, or the fish sauce of Viet Nam.
Inner Sanctum: What can you tell me about the films that will be shown during the festival?
The films are the last things we add to the programme. As you can see they are mostly directed by overseas Vietnamese directors. We want to include films made by directors who live in the country, but the films did not have English subtitles, so we could not show them. It is a pity.
Inner Sanctum: The former Italian ambassador once said that archaeologists have found in the Hong (Red) River Delta an ancient coin of the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. What do you think of that comment in correlation with today’s "invasion"?
It’s like getting into the cave to catch the tiger. (Hung quotes a popular Vietnamese saying).
Inner Sanctum: What do you think of the saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans"?
Well, it is true. But for one month, you can do as Vietnamese do. — VNS