Seeking brighter lives in big cities
Big picture: Artist Dao Anh Khanh talks about his show, which will take place tonight at his house in Ngoc Thuy, Gia Lam District, Ha Noi.— Photo vietnamnet.vn
HA NOI — Artist Dao Anh Khanh will dance, sing and perform rock music for special guests at his upcoming show Dao Xuan (Spring Arrival) tonight at his house in Ngoc Thuy, Gia Lam District, Ha Noi.
The annual show has become a trademark for the artist since he first held one in 2003. The idea is to bring the community closer to modern art by combining live music, video and visual installations. Each year he portrays a different theme, expressing human aspiration in a modern life and challenging our understanding of time and self.
In his shows, audiences are inspired by flickering flames, voices and the movements of bodies fully covered in paint. This year’s Dao Xuan once again promises to engage all of the senses.
The main performance at this year’s show has been titled The Virtual Sol.
“The performance will be a little abstract,” said Khanh.
He explained that the performance was inspired by the trend of rural people moving to the big cities looking for a better life.
“It is clear why people move, but they leave behind their homeland which is close to nature and a clean environment. In the big cities, they live in small houses and face many obstacles. Can they turn dreams into reality? I think it is very illusive.”
According to the artist, the three-hour show will take place on two separate stages in his house. The first part, Closing – Opening, which is about the stress of the cities in contrast with the peaceful rural life, will be presented by Khanh alongside Vietnamese dancers and American ballerina Lauren Nicole Sokin.
During the performance, the audience are free to move around while lighting effects and actors in body paint mingling with the crowd will create the feeling of being stuck in busy traffic.
In the second part, Vietnamese, American and British musicians will take to the other stage and perform rock music, with Khanh joining on vocals. The bands including Vietnamese rockers Ngu Cung.
During these performances, art videos by Vietnamese visual artists Phuong Vu Manh and Le Hoai Nam will be screened.
After the main show, Khanh will introduce people to his next project, Gam Troi Valley, which will be the biggest of his career so far. He is setting up a natural centre for modern art in Luong Son, in the northern province of Hoa Binh.
Born in 1959, Khanh graduated from the Ha Noi Police Academy and became a policeman at the age of 22. However his passionate love of art made him change his career path.
He graduated from the Ha Noi Industrial Arts College in 1990 and started working on celebrating the human form and spirit through his art.
He is a member of the Viet Nam Fine Arts Association and has many paintings in private collections in Viet Nam and abroad.
Khanh is recognised as a pioneer in Vietnamese performance art and is now experimenting in new disciplines of visual art, using body movements and multiform light and sound.
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder visited Khanh’s house to watch his performance when he visited Viet Nam in April 2007.
The Virtual Sol event will kick off at 8pm.— VNS