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Cultural integration to take centre stage at NY live show

Update: April, 03/2012 - 09:51

 

Hot stuff: Dao Anh Khanh performs in his seventh Dao Xuan (Spring Arrival) performance in Ha Noi in February. The artist is set to impress New York audiences with a performance on Friday. — File Photo
HA NOI — The contemporary Vietnamese visual and performance artist Dao Anh Khanh will impress New York audiences with a live performance on Friday.

According to the artist, whose domestic and abroad performances consistently receive rave reviews, this week's show will be the biggest to date, taking place at the stadium of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

Like his previous performances, the show will feature a mixture of various contemporary art forms, including installation, music, dance, video art and lights.

"The show has been designed based on the idea that although something may be a fact, people can see it differently due to different angles of vision," said the 53-year-old artist.

"In addition, cultural integration is another basis for the show. In the modern world, exchange often occurs between many fields of life, between different cultures. More and more, Oriental people are influenced by Western culture, and conversely, Asian culture is becoming more accessible to Westerners."

Although his vision was to use fire to express his ideas, Khanh has had to make some adjustments given the technical requirements. Instead, he will set up an installation featuring hundreds of metres of cloth with abstract drawings on a back -and -white background. This installation, which expresses cultural integration according to the artist, will be hung surrounding the performance's venue.

Another installation featuring two human-sized sculptures made of grass will be displayed on the stage.

Video art featuring different movements of bamboo – the symbolic image of Viet Nam – as well as other Vietnamese landscapes will be screened as the stage's backdrop. Images about daily life in Viet Nam, including the bustling traffic in big cities will be a part of the exhibition.

Together with 10 Colgate University students, Khanh will perform body movement and contemporary dances within a nylon net reflecting their shadows. He will perform to an improvised song by Vietnamese digital music artist and DJ Tri Minh.

The artist said he had only five days before the show to choreograph and practise with the foreign performers, in addition to setting up all the installations with the support of Vietnamese students who are studying at the university.

Besides the Friday show at Colgate University, Khanh will also reunite with his American friends who will share the stage with him during two contemporary music performances in New York City on April 9 and 15.

Born in Ha Noi in 1959, Khanh is among the Asian artists who are breaking away from traditional and stylistic constraints. His recent annual Dao Xuan (Spring Arrival) took place in Ha Noi in February and was dedicated to the issue of environmental pollution caused by development. — VNS

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