Artworks specially composed to show artists’ love for sea and islands
VietNamNet Bridge – Soldiers and fishermen who are resolutely safeguarding the country’s sovereignty over its sea and islands have been an inspiration for artists to compose hundreds of artworks imbued with their emotion and national pride.
Artist Nguyen Thu Thuy and sailors with the map on Truong Sa Lon Island
Melodies echo with sound of waves
The Vietnam Musicians Association recently released a collection entitled 'Day Song Bien Dong’ (The Crest of East Sea Waves) bringing together newly composed songs by the association’s member on the theme of the country’s sea and islands.
More than 60 songs featured in the collection were selected from over 100 entries sent to the association. The songs were products of veteran musicians such as Trong Bang, Doan Nho, Nguyen Cuong, and Trong Dai, as well as artists from the younger generation including Ngoc Anh, Hoai An, Tran Ngoc Lam and Vu Thiet.
Many of them were inspired by field trips to sea and islands area, such as ‘Song Doi Truong Sa’ (Waves Lapping Spratly Archipelago) by Nguyen Cuong and ‘Khuc Hat Ra Khoi’ (Paean of Heading to the Sea) by Do Hong Quan.
The East Sea not only fuels the diversification in the composers’ styles and language but also springs up new topics, which have been rarely observed in Vietnamese music before, such as Vietnam’s submarine forces, air force, navy, coast guard, and fisheries surveillance force.
The second volume of the collection is expected to be released to the public soon.
According to Chairman of the Music and Press Club Cat Van, the selection and publication of the collection aimed to meet the burning demand for contemporary musical activities.
Although most of the compositions were produced in a short time, they succeeded in conveying the musicians’ enthusiasm, responsibilities and viewpoints on the country’s maritime sovereignty.
Films embrace soldiers’ life and contributions
During the 1960s, when the national resistance war against the US entered its fiercest stage, People’s Artist Nguyen Ngoc Quynh went out into the Tonkin Gulf in the hope of vividly and truthfully recording the fighting spirit of Vietnamese people against US aircraft to protect the homeland’s sea and islands, as was depicted in his film 'Dau Song Ngon Gio' (Challenging Wind and Waves). The film won the golden medal at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1967 and the Golden Lotus Prize at the Vietnam Film Festival in 1970.
Another talent of Vietnam’s revolutionary cinematography, People’s Artist Le Manh Thich, took his film crew to Truong Sa during the hottest days of April 1988 to film the life of soldiers stationed there. His production, 'Truong Sa Thang 4 -1988' (Truong Sa in April, 1988) was a live documentary of those who were fighting for the protection of maritime sovereignty.
Upholding the spirit of these predecessors, more documentaries have been produced by younger-generation directors. The films are soaked in the producers’ love for the country’s sea and islands while successfully reflecting the real life of the army and people in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagoes.
'Dao Ly Son' (Ly Son Island), a film produced by director Cong Thanh Duc in 2009, portrays fishermen who are resolute in maintaining their fishing operation and protecting their ancestors’ traditional waters.
In 2012, the film Bien Cua Nguoi Viet (The Sea of Vietnamese People) by Dao Thanh Tung traced historical evidences and documents from past to present, to assert national sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.
The central Documentary and Scientific Films Studio (DSFS) is making another of Tung’s documentaries entitled 'Bien Xanh Mau La' (Leaf-Coloured Sea), which is based on the novel by Nguyen Xuan Thuy.
The studio also submitted three film scripts on the theme of the country’s sea and islands for the approval of the Department of Cinematography. The films recount the historical journey of Vietnamese generations in exploring and practicing sovereignty in islands, and honour the valiant soldiers who have fought and laid down their lives in defence of the islands.
Ceramic map of Vietnam installed in Truong Sa
A giant ceramic map of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has been assembled on Truong Sa Lon Island, Truong Sa Archipelago.
The map is the outcome of a joint effort by painters Nguyen Thu Thuy and Phan Thanh Son along with students from Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts. Thuy is also the creator of Vietnam's largest ceramic national flag and ceramic murals honouring Vietnam’s strength on Truong Sa Lon Island.
With a dimension of 2.3 by 1.9 metres, the map consists of 88 sections of pottery baked at a temperature of 1,200°C. It names clearly each island, rock, coral dune, shoal, and reef in the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes, as well as other islands within Vietnamese territory.
Adapted from a sample map of Vietnam’s seas and islands by the Vietnam Naval High Command, the map marked coastal islands that have important positions to be used as benchmarks for national baselines—which determine the internal waters, territorial waters, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf—as the legal basis to defend national sovereignty over its waters.
The map is scheduled to be mounted on 21 islands with 33 sovereignty marks of the Spratly Archipelago.
According to Thuy, the unique work not only expresses the artists’ appreciation for naval soldiers who work day and night to protect national sovereignty, but also conveys their determination to join hands to safeguard Hoang Sa and Truong Sa for Vietnam’s generations, today and tomorrow.