Through engaging with elements of Vietnam’s music and film heritage, especially those under-threat or under-represented, the FAMLAB (Film, Archive and Music Lab) Fund under British Council in Vietnam’s Heritage of Future Past project is taking meaningful steps to benefit the heritage sector in Vietnam. The project has spent its first two years supporting Vietnam and UK-based individual practitioners, groups and organisations working in many creative/artistic discipline towards sustainable values and a long-term impact for contemporary arts and cultural practices.
Now, the British Council in Vietnam is delighted to announce 20 art initiatives to receive FAMLAB fund grant packages. They are a diverse and exciting group of initiatives across platforms, cultures and geographies that work with and explore Vietnam’s music and film heritage through contemporary mediums.
Saigon Soul Revival is a project recording and delivering live presentations of the 1960s/1970s Vietnamese songbooks. In May at a FAMLAB Open Session held by the British Council in Vietnam in HCMC, Saigon Soul Revival for the first time live-premiered a new batch of songs encompassing originals and special re-interpretations of 1960s-1970s Southern Vietnamese pop (some of which had never been recorded or performed). The full-capacity event was followed by the in-studio inception of the group’s long-awaited debut album (produced by long-time collaborator Jan Hagenkoetter of Saigon Supersound), a recording process that saw them explore uncharted territories and collaborating with a host of musicians. Saigon Soul Revival is now touring Danang, Hue, Vinh, Hanoi, Vung Tau, HCMC as well as Germany’s Berlin and Frankfurt from December 2019 to May 2020.
Our music – Another project from FAMLAB Fund Round 2 is making exciting progress. Having researched, recorded and archived the traditional songbooks of various ethnic groups of the northern mountains, the group Action for H’Mong Development is working with a group of H’Mong musicians to compose new pieces of music inspired by the songbooks.
Most recently, one of the FAMLAB Fund’s projects involving Vietnam–UK collaboration, Bolero Effect (initiated by Vietnamese-British artist Moi Tran) had a successful multi-disciplinary performance in Hanoi at the end of November featuring a 20-strong ensemble.
Apart from on-going projects, the British Council in Vietnam has just announced grantees for round 4, the last one of the FAMLAB Fund.
FAMLAB FUND ANNOUNCES GRANTEES OF ROUND 4
We are delighted to announce six grantees of FAMLAB round 4. The fund provides grant to the six initiatives, out of nearly 30 submitted, making the total number of FAMLAB fund grantees, to 20.
After the Silent Tiger: Shooting the Indigenous Sound in Central Highlands: A project by Vietnamese moving-image artist Nguyen Trinh Thi, reworking a 1930s American production shot in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Featuring newly-filmed footage and new music written and performed by Jrai master musicians.
Dust and Metal: A live-cinema project directed by UK video artist Esther Johnson and produced by Live Cinema UK. Integrating existing archived film and new, crowd-sourced footage – centred on the history of motorbikes in Vietnam and through decades – the project seeks to unearth (un)familiar cultural and social phenomena, and to bridge future present with the past.
A Flatpack Festival project: A newly-commissioned audio-visual piece – with vintage Vietnamese rock ‘n’ roll as its starting point – bringing together contemporary music and visual artists from Vietnam and UK.
Legends as Souls: A multi-component project by poet/artist Inra Jaka in collaboration with Cham and Vietnamese artists and researchers, around the Cham music heritage, encompassing a publication, audio archived materials, creation of new musical pieces, and filmic documentation.
Liberation Radio: An immersive and interactive gallery installation that explores the dynamics between the history of cinema and that of a country. Through a multi-disciplinary approach that blends fiction and real-life, the work will feature contribution from Vietnamese sound artist Nhung Nguyen (Sound Awakener); UK writer, journalist and broadcaster Matthew Sweet, and video artist Esther Johnson.
Vườn Lài Wonderland: A participatory project that surveys and engages with the heritage of queer moving images in Vietnam. Undertaken by the Queer Forever collective in conjunction with various communities, the project will be realised across multiple activity strands – including archiving, screenings, discussions and workshops.
For more information, please visit https://www.britishcouncil.vn/en/programmes/arts/heritage-future-past/strand-2-famlab