The Muong Land exhibition featuring contemporary artworks that explore the culture of the Muong ethinic group will be open to the public from Sept. 30 at the Muong Cultural Museum in the northern province of Hoa Binh.

The show is being held as part of the Muong Ethnic Group's Traditional Cultural Festival, which this year celebrates the 125 years since the establishment of Hoa Binh.

The festival will only be held one day, but the exhibition itself will run for one year at the recently opened art centre in the museum.

The artworks on display were made by 14 sculptors, 12 painters, one sound artist and three guests during a special summer camp held from September 15 to 25 in Hoa Binh.

During their 10-day camp situated in a two-hectare area near the museum, artists explored Muong culture by meeting and talking with local people.

Painter and art critic Phan Cam Thuong said Muong culture is very rich. "While living in this mountainous area and discovering the local people's customs and beliefs, we learned a great deal about their spiritual life," said Thuong.

The Muong Ethnic Group's Traditional Cultural Festival offers a variety of cultural activities such as a worshipping ritual, folk song show, culinary arts performances and presentations at the Muong Studio Art Centre.

The artists explore the changing lives and culture of the Muong in their works. Vuong Van Thao introduced his latest work – Stilt House Fossil.

The piece highlights his concerns over the displacement of traditional stilt houses by modern concrete houses, many of which are not as aesthetically pleasing as the traditional dwellings of the Muong.

Sculptor Dao Chau Hai's Water-Time Goes By examines the changing relationship between local people and their culture and environment. The work raises questions about over-exploitation of natural resources.

The show as a whole aims to establish a connection between contemporary arts and traditional Muong culture.

Museum director Vu Duc Hieu said that despite a lack of funds, he will hold the artists' camp again next year, with the aim of the camp becoming an annual event. /.