Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Collecting Colours in Lac Village, Hoa Binh, North Vietnam

 On 6th April I set out from Hanoi with Dr. Nina Yiu and a team from the Vietnamese Women's Museum on trip to visit Lac Village near Hoa Binh, South East of Hanoi.

After a three and a half hour drive we arrived in the beautiful village, finding it beautiful and quiet. The village sits in a valley with tree-clad hills surrounding it and which is carpeted in lush green rice fields. Normally this location would be buzzing with activity, local community members working and international tourists on adventure holidays. Unfortunately, due to the effects of the COVID pandemic there are no international tourists and only handful of domestic tourists from other parts of Vietnam. Normally the local community members would be making clothes, bags, and other attractive products with designs based upon traditional patterns and designs. Other community members would take the tourists on trekking trips through the rice fields and into the local hills. The tourists would stay in stilt houses constructed to follow the traditional construction methods. It was tragic to see it so quiet and devoid of visitors.

Nina and the team from the Vietnamese Women's Museum were collaborating on a project that aims to provide some support for the local communities in this area. The idea is that Nina's students at RMIT University in Ho Chi Minh City would work on designs for clothes and bags that are then made by the local community craftspeople and sold to tourists from the Museum, with proceeds going to support the local community in the future.

Of course, the students do not aim to simply reproduce traditional styles and decorative patterns, they wished to add a twist, to transform the designs and patterns in such a way as to reinvest those designs with a contemporary spirit. Some of the designs were more complicated than those that would be usually made in the village and so Nina came to assist them in gaining an understanding of the contemporary designs and also to provide technical advice, visualizing paper patterns etc. 

Nina was on official business from RMIT but I financed myself to join the trip to Hanoi / Hoa Binh / Lac Village to see this lovely place.

Although the day turned out to be very busy with non-stop meetings for the whole day, I did find time to take a short walk through the village and as I did so I decided to collect ambient colours along the way.

The location of the village and the colours I collected, along with a few photos I took can be found below.

Before dusk we all set off on the three and a half hours drive back to Hanoi.

Lac Village (Google Maps)


The area around Hoa Binh showing Lac Village
(Google Maps)


Hoa Binh seen in relation to Hanoi 
(Google Maps)


Reaching the crest of the hill


Breakfast stop along the way


The hanging food stalls 


Arriving at Lac Village


Village detail


Village detail

12 found colours


Sunday, January 31, 2021

渡 (Portal) - Cheung Chau Wave 2020/21 - Update

 Last month I posted information about the Cheung Chau Wave Arts Festival centered around the small island of Cheung Chau in Hong Kong. At the time I didn't completely understand how the festival was operating, despite being one of the participants. This is an intriguing position to be in and made the whole situation quite interesting. 

Festival Poster (Credit: https://www.facebook.com/CheungChauWave)


Recently, I picked up on festival lists that explained more about the festival. The Cheung Chau Wave festival, titled 渡 (Portal) is now presented more fully on the festival website, here and is listed as running from Dec 2020 - Feb 2021.

Festival website listing

Once inside, information can be sought either by genre or by artist name. My recorded performance of 'No holiday' took place on Cheung Chau during the period I called the island my home (2012-2018). The performance was originally conceived for the 'Duration and Dialogue Performance Arts Festival' in Toronto, Canada in 2017 and subsequently gave rise to the ongoing, serial performance it now is. Since then the performance has been recorded and live-streamed from the UK, Venice - Italy and Saigon - Vietnam. <ore performances were planned but these have been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation. As soon as the situation improves it is hoped to resume the saga. 

My page on the festival can be accessed here.

The recording of 'No holiday - Cheung Chau, 2017' can also be found on the Cheung Chau Wave Festival YouTube channel.

'No holiday, Cheung Chau, 2017'

The performance recording can also be accessed on my own YouTube Channel, and more information regarding the performance can be read on my website: https://www.patricksford.com/performance