Puppeteer Phan Thanh Liem by his mini water puppet stage ​(Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - A talk titled “The Story of Water Puppetry”, hosted by artist Ngo Thanh Bac and puppet artisan/performance artist Phan Thanh Liem, will be held on January 8 in Hanoi.

The talk, which is part of the project “Reimagine Artist/Artisan”, will introduce audiences to mini water puppetry and its value in the field of visual art.

After various field trips to traditional craft villages, artist Ngo Thanh Bac, as a member of the research project, chose water puppets as the main materials for his work “Do I Need to Introduce My Name Here?”, which will be exhibited along with another four art works in Six Space from January 5 to 12, 2017.

He has learned from and worked together with artisan/artist Ngo Thanh Liem to make the puppets, and then incorporated them into his installment of a mini communal house and pond built in a small crate.

The two artists will share their personal journey in art, talk about the value and structure of water puppets as a mini version, as well as their coordination and roles within the scope of the “Reimagine Artist/Artisan” project.

Bac graduated from the Fine Art University in 2008. He participated in numerous exhibitions with visual and performance work. He is one of the six members of the Annex Group – a performance art group that uses daily objects as analogical tools to demonstrate repetitive and somewhat unreasonable behavior over an extended period of time in order to reflect social issues or personal preoccupations.

Liem was born to a family of seven generations that have been preserving water puppetry in the northern provinces of Vietnam. His grandfather, Phan Van Huyen, was a puppet craftman and artisan and his father, the famous puppeteer Phan Van Ngai, created the mobile water puppetry stage. He also made Teu (a humorous farmer) puppet, which is displayed in France’s Louvre Museum. Phan Thanh Liem is the very first artisan who created mini water puppetry and has been performing both in Vietnam and overseas.

The “Reimagine The Artist/Artisan” project is created and run by a group of multidisciplinary artists and art researchers who are inspired, nostalgic and passionate about the history, knowledge, aesthetics and possibilities of art craftsmanship and craft villages in Vietnam.

Launched in 2016, this participatory art-based research project aims to foster learning, dialogue and collaboration among artists, artisans and the wider public to openly converse on various matters including cultural, aesthetic and social functions of the artist/artisan in the creative process and production, and shared influence between artists and artisans.- VNA