Future of Traditions is a multi-component project which explored the notion of ‘traditions in flux’: constantly growing with time and taking in new elements, rather than being a fixed concept defined in the past. The project consisted of the following phases:
- Phase 1 (October–December 2018): the production and showcase of the music theatre piece Hai nàng Nguyệt Cô (The Two Nguyệt Cô Ladies) written by Nguyễn Xuân Sơn (SơnX). The piece distils more than twenty years of the artist's work in traditional Vietnamese music (often realised via contemporary/multi-disciplinary angles). This piece itself took as its starting point a Vietnamese fable present in both chèo and tuồng theatre, and brings together characters and elements of the two art-forms. Hai nàng Nguyệt Cô premiered at the 2018 edition of Hanoi New Music Festival (itself a FAMLAB Fund grantee project).
- Phase 2 (March–July 2019): a series of workshops with master musicians and artisans from various traditional art-forms: tuồng, chèo, quan họ, cải lương, and ca trù; intertwined with presentations by contemporary Vietnamese artists renowned for their experiments with traditional/classic elements (Nguyễn Huy An, Kim Ngọc, Nguyễn Trinh Thi, etc.). Workshop participants were primarily emerging artists from various disciplines, with all presentations also open to the public.
This phase of the project concluded with an open-studio showcase of works developed by the workshop participants, which took place at VICAS Art Studio in July 2019.
Artists taking part in the project showcase include: Thinh Nguyen, Le Thu Minh and Nguyen Diep Thuy Anh, Ngo Thu Hương, Nguyen Linh Trang, Ngo Thi Hai Yen, La Mai, Trang Linh Valerie Pham, Nguyen Quoc Hoang Anh, Tuan Ni, Tran Minh.
Workshop speakers include:
Session 1 (13 April): Chèo Theatre – Đoan Thanh Binh, Le Xuan Dieu, Pham Huu Duc
Session 2 (28 April): Contemporary sound artist Kim Ngoc
Session 3 (4 May): Tuồng Theatre – Man Thi Thu, Nguyen Thanh Nam, Pham Quoc Chi
Session 4 (10 May): Curator of contemporary art Tran Luong
Session 5 (18 May): Contemporary visual artist Nguyen Huy An
Session 6 (25 May): Filmmaker and artist Nguyen Trinh Thi
Session 7 (1 June): Contemporary visual artist Nguyen Oanh Phi Phi
Session 8 (29 June): Cải lương Theatre – Đao Van Trung, Phan Ngoc Chi, Đo Thuc Van, Cao Dang Van, Pham Thi Thuy