Exhibition unmasks the dramatic art of Tuong

October 21, 2019 | 09:00 am GMT+7

Behind the Mask aims to heighten local awareness and appreciation of Tuong, a unique Vietnamese art form, and introduce it to foreign visitors.

The exhibition is part of efforts to revive the art, which has been losing its popularity in modern Vietnamese society.

The Vietnam Tuong Theatre is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an exhibition called Behind The Mask to raise local awareness of and introduce foreign tourists to the art of Tuong, a traditional feature of Vietnamese culture that is gradually losing its popularity in modern society.

The Vietnam Tuong Theatre at 51A Duong Thanh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

The Vietnam Tuong Theatre at 51A Duong Thanh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

The art of elaborate facial makeup is one of the most outstanding and characteristic features of Tuong, but the exhibition invites the audience to look beyond the colors and lines to find other distinctive aspects of the performing art that has a history of approximately 800 years.

The Vietnam Tuong Theatre has been making significant contributions to preserving and sustaining this Vietnamese traditional art form.

The exhibition has four main displays. On the ground floor, the history room provides a brief introduction to the long history of Tuong, including the "founding fathers" of the art form and the ancient scripts written in Nom characters.

The make-up section showcases more than 30 hand-drawn masks portraying different characters in classical Tuong plays, such as Trieu Khuong Dan in Nu tuong Dao Tam Xuan or Khuong Linh Ta in Son Hau.

Traditional costumes on display at the Behind the Mask exhibition. 

Traditional costumes on display at the Behind the Mask exhibition. 

On the first floor is a display of costumes and musical instruments. Eight costumes from eight characters in two plays, Ngheu So Oc Hen and Nu tuong Dao Tam Xuan are placed opposite to each other, allowing the audience to compare and contrast two main genres of Tuong, folk and classical. The juxtaposed section also displays more than ten instruments commonly found in contemporary Tuong performances.

A tour guide introduces the exhibition’s artifacts and explains the art of Tuong to foreign tourists.

A tour guide introduces the exhibition’s artifacts and explains the art of Tuong to foreign tourists.

Behind The Mask

Location: Vietnam Tuong Theatre, 51A Duong Thanh Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

Open: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. every day.

Free entrance.

 
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