Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — A talk titled “The Story of Water Puppetry”, hosted by artist Ngô Thành Bắc and puppet artisan/performance artist Phan Thanh Liêm, will be held on January 8 in Hà Nội.
The talk, which is part of the project “Reimagine Artist/Artisan”, will introduce audiences to mini water puppetry and its value in the field of visual art.
After various field trips to traditional craft villages, artist Ngô Thành Bắc, as a member of the research project, chose water puppets as the main materials for his work “Do I Need to Introduce My Name Here?”, which will be exhibited along with another four art works in Six Space from January 5 to 12, 2017.
He has learned from and worked together with artisan/artist Ngô Thanh Liêm to make the puppets, and then incorporated them into his installment of a mini communal house and pond built in a small crate.
The two artists will share their personal journey in art, talk about the value and structure of water puppets as a mini version, as well as their coordination and roles within the scope of the “Reimagine Artist/Artisan” project.
Bắc graduated from the Fine Art University in 2008. He participated in numerous exhibitions with visual and performance work. He is one of the six members of the Annex Group – a performance art group that uses daily objects as analogical tools to demonstrate repetitive and somewhat unreasonable behavior over an extended period of time in order to reflect social issues or personal preoccupations.
Liêm was born to a family of seven generations that have been preserving water puppetry in the northern provinces of Việt Nam. His granfather, Phan Văn Huyên, was a puppet craftman and artisan and his father, the famous puppeteer Phan Văn Ngải, created the mobile water puppetry stage. He also made chú Tễu (a humorous farmer) puppet, which is displayed in France’s Louvre Museum. Phan Thanh Liêm is the very first artisan who created mini water puppetry and has been performing both in Vietnam and overseas.
The “Reimagine The Artist/Artisan” project is created and run by a group of multidisciplinary artists and art researchers who are inspired, nostalgic and passionate about the history, knowledge, aesthetics and possibilities of art craftsmanship and craft villages in Việt Nam.
Launched in 2016, this participatory art-based research project aims to foster learning, dialogue and collaboration among artists, artisans and the wider public to openly converse on various matters including cultural, aesthetic and social functions of the artist/artisan in the creative process and production, and shared influence between artists and artisans.
The talk wil start at 4pm at Six Space, 94B Trần Hưng Đạo, Hà Nội. — VNS