Foreign Artists' Unforgettable Memories in Vietnam
Ice Hokku (Israel)
Anton and Julia of the Israeli band "Ice Hokku" held their very first concert in Hanoi in early June. Just an hour before the show, they were threatened with a sudden rainstorm - one of the biggest rains the city witnessed this year. Both the artists and the staff felt like they must prepare for the worst outcome.
"It seems like there is no way we could have a show now, or if anyone would come, but it worked out before people arrived. It was a happy adventure to me, going from being very nervous to thinking it was a good sign right before the show," said the lead singer Julia.
|Anton (left) and Julia (right) of the Israeli band "Ice Hokku" held the very first concert in Hanoi in early June (Photo: Khang Danh Le).
Sharing about their favorite moments during the show, the artists said that it was an hour and a half of mixed emotions.
The band wanted to show its unique style and identity as global stars so started with pop songs in English, then brought in more Israeli-inspired and folk-inspired songs and ended with an acoustic song. To their surprise, the audience also put in as much energy and excitement, as if they are a familiar crowd.
"It was very emotional to see the audience cheer loudly with us in the dance song, then move gently to the melody with us in slower songs even though this is our first concert in Vietnam. We shared emotional moments for both sides, the next day we feel very sorry we must leave so soon," exclaimed the duo.
They did not expect to feel so connected with a country they had never been to before so Anton and Julia once again realized "music opens the world with the right door".
"We had the opportunity to play our music in Vietnam and thanks to that, now we have more experience working with embassies in different countries and making friends with people around the world," said Anton happily.
Tetseo sisters (India)
Folk artist group Tetseo Sisters came to Vietnam all the way from Nagaland (a mountainous state in northeast India). They are famously known for the beautiful representation of Nagaland's traditional heritage in music and costumes. After performing in many stages around the world, the band finally met Vietnamese music lovers for the very first time in August this year.
As they toured in Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong, and other cities, two of the band members - Lulu and Kuvelu - shared that performing in Vietnam held a very special meaning.
"Vietnamese and Indian arts share many similarities. We are happy to play our part in bringing people of two countries together and use music to break barriers," said the band members.
In Vietnam, as they harmonized the melodies of love, life, or family, they captured the hearts of the local audiences.
"We are happy to interact with the audience. Vietnamese people are warm and welcome even when it is our first time performing here. In our Bac Ninh show, the audience gave a standing ovation. It was a very proud and touching moment for us," said one of the singers, Lulu.
|Folk artist group Tetseo Sisters came to Vietnam all the way from Nagaland (a mountainous state in northeast India) (Photo: Valerie Mai).
Tetseo Sisters stole the show not only with their songs but also with their colorful costumes. The clothes are from their mothers passing down to the daughters and from fathers to sons. They have many pieces, each telling something about the traditional beliefs of their tribe in Nagaland. Thanks to their effort to make the performance as authentic as possible, the audience can experience the uniqueness of Indian culture.
On the other hand, Lulu and Kuvelu were impressed by the beautiful traditional clothes of Vietnamese performers whom they shared the stage with during the tour. They were memorized when they saw Quan Ho Bac Ninh (Bac Ninh folk singing) and Mua Sap (Bamboo dancing) for the first time.
"We will definitely come back for Vietnam's rich cultures through exchange programs because we want to learn your traditional dances and songs," said the band members.
Dominic Thian (Singapore)
Singaporean painter Dominic Thian took a leisure trip to Ninh Binh province of Vietnam in early 2023 and spent a large amount of time live-painting Ninh Binh's relics and temples. Participating in an art collaboration between Vietnam and Singapore in October, he officially experienced the first-ever group exhibition in Vietnam.
Dominic shares that he is happy because of the success of the event and also that he made many new friends. Although working together for a few days, he enjoyed the company of both Singaporean and Vietnamese colleagues.
"Exhibiting in Vietnam was a really good experience because the artists and helpers were so ready to collaborate and communicate despite the language barrier! So the logistical matters and installation went by with a very cordial and hospitable atmosphere," said Dominic.
The painter described his experiences in Vietnam as "inspiring". During his short visit to Hanoi, he made many good memories, visiting art studios and doing live sketching together with his new friends. Also, Dominic learned that people from Vietnam are friendly and warm towards foreigners even though they do not speak the same language.
"I found the visitors [who came to speak to me] thoughtful and articulate, and they made me and my work feel welcome. A lady, whose grandfather was an influential Vietnamese artist, showed me his paintings and her own paintings, and expressed a beautiful sentiment about how my work was simple yet full of emotion and meaning," said the painter.
|Participating in an art collaboration between Vietnam and Singapore in October, Singaporean artist Dominic Thian (third from left) joined dozens of artists in a first-ever exhibition in Vietnam (Photo: Maya Gallery Singapore Facebook).
After this experience, he became more interested in Vietnamese culture and hoped to maintain the friendships I made with the Vietnamese artists.
"Perhaps if more individuals go through similar experiences perhaps it might affect the flavor of our diplomatic exchanges," exclaimed Dominic.
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