06/16/2008 10:45
Performance artists get chance to shine at new competition
Art in Action: Performance artist Tien Trong Nghia’s Mat Na (The Mask) left a strong impression on HCM City viewers. — VNS Photo
A new national competition sponsored by the Cultural Development and Exchange Fund (CDEF) of the Danish Embassy in Viet Nam is encouraging young performance artists.

The Performance Art Talent Prize 2008 supports amateur and professional artists under 35 years old involved in performance art – a relatively new arrival in Viet Nam.

Participants can either perform alone or in group not exceeding ten people, and use different elements of theatre, dance and music.

Proposal submissions can be in the form of artwork or a 200-page abstract.

"We hope our competition can create an opportunity for young Vietnamese performance artists to show off their talent," said Peter Lysholt Hansen, the Ambassador of Denmark to Viet Nam and chairman of CDEF.

The ten best entries will receive US$500 to complete their vision at the finals, scheduled for October 16 in Ha Noi.

The winner will be chosen by viewers, and get a $3,000 award.

The competition’s judging panel consists ofvisual artists who have worked hard to develop performance art in Viet Nam, including Dao Anh Khanh, Tran Luong and Nguyen Nhu Huy. They have also supported younger colleagues to display their works in the past.

Last year, the CDEF supported seven projects in dance and theatre by rising stars like dancer Tran Ly Ly and the Ha Noi-based Youth Theatre. Candidates must apply before July 30 to the CDEF at 19 Dien Bien Phu Street in Ha Noi.

Installation art on the rise

Though it was developed nearly a century ago, installation art has only caught on among young Vietnamese artists in the past decade.

Young artists are drawn to the world of installation and performance art because these "new creative areas allow people to explore", said Huy, one of the country’s leading installation artists.

Huy and his peers draw upon traditional Vietnamese techniques and materials, such as laquerware and silk painting, in their projects.

"Our works are the results of a mix of Eastern and Western ideas," said Huy, who has exhibited at galleries at home and abroad, including the Vermont Studio Centre’s Redmill Gallery in the US.

"As the nation’s contemporary art scene develops faster and faster, new trends in visual arts have taken steps towards becoming more popular," he said.

Artists like Huy can find a home in a growing number of private gallaries in Ha Noi and HCM City, in addition to State-owned venues. International organisations like the Ford Foundation or the Goethe Institute are also supporting local artists and art students’ exhibitions of installation and performance art.

Source: VNS

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