In compared to any other Asian countries, it’s not so long since the general Vietnamese Art and contemporary Vietnam Art successfully transforms from the unrecognized one to the remarkable art picture in the world. Arguably, the core feature that enabled Vietnamese Art to survive well through a cumulative thousands years of foreign domination is its technique to absorb foreign affects and blend their essence into her own culture. In the present days, if there is any discussion about identity crisis within Asian art, Vietnamese Art has been considered as a central attraction.
Vietnamese Art and Vietnamese Water Puppet is The Best Example
It’s proven that the Art of Vietnam has a long and diverse history which takes you years to study and master her quintessence. The earliest instances about it can be dated back at the Stone Age, approximately about 8,000 BCE. Due to the millennium of Chinese domination, the art subject of Vietnam in particular surely digested various Chinese influences. However, please note that Vietnam herself is smart enough to develop her own art, which is exclusive and separated from the rest. Vietnamese characteristics are distinctively retained and developed.
Vietnamese Water Puppet (called Mua Roi Nuoc in Vietnamese) is among the best Vietnamese arts that we preferably introduce. Remarkably, this art type is performed very well in Hanoi. It will be the big regret if you miss the Water Puppet Theater in Hanoi. The puppets that dance on water can entertain you well, regardless of whether you’re solo or go in groups. Please understand that the Vietnamese Water Puppet Shows are not only for amusing kids, but it’s also for delighting the adults of all kinds. So now, explore the history, performance, and content of this Vietnamese art type!
First, its history derived from the Red River Delta of Vietnam in the 10th century. In the past, some farmers worked as artists and performed water puppetry to relax, after harvest. From then, the custom remains to support people’s spirits as a form of entertainment or a lively creation. To them, water was a superb medium for puppetry, while the puppeteer’s rod and string mechanism were hidden. Waves and splashes became excellent effects to keep the audience’s interest last long. Up to now, this Vietnamese art form has remained unique to the North of Vietnam, which is performed all days in a week right in Thang Long Puppet Theatre, the most popular theatre in Hanoi.
Next, the performance of Vietnamese Water Puppet is done in the cold and wet conditions as the surface of water is a stage. The performers stand behind a screen and play the puppets via long bamboo rods and string mechanism concealed beneath the water surface. Tourists mostly feel impressed at the wooden puppets which often weigh 15kg. During the artistic show, the puppets can either appear from stage’s side or emerge from the murky depth of water. The traditional Vietnamese orchestra offers background music of Cheo (a form of opera). There also stands an appearance of Teu, a big-tailed bumpkin, perform short scenes. The shows are kept interesting due to the fun interaction between musicians and the puppets controlled by the hidden puppeteers.