Art show pays tribute to burnt-down Lang House

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The site of a 100-year-old Lang House at the Muong Cultural Space Museum in Hoa Binh Province that was destroyed by a fire last month will host a contemporary art show this Friday

A memorial event for the recently destroyed Lang House in the northern province of Hoa Binh will be held on November 15 at the spot where it once stood.

The event, a contemporary art exhibition, seeks to promote heritage and culture protection while commemorating the destruction of the century-old house in a fire on October 24, organizers said.

It is suspected that four provincial government officials set off the fire, which is being investigated by local police.

The 150-square-meter wooden structure and nearly 200 original Muong cultural relics it housed belonged to Ha Thi Loi, a descendant of a top ranking Muong official who ruled the area before 1954, and was the last house of its kind in Vietnam.

The exhibition, called "Memories of Lang House," will open 7 p.m. at the two-hectare Muong Cultural Space Museum, where building once stood.

It is part of the 12th Northwest Ethnic Minority Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival that is being held in the province this month.

The exhibition includes art installations (including those involving video and sound); works by sculptor Dao Chau Hai, artists Nguyen Ngoc Lam, Thai Nhat Minh and Pham Thai Binh. The works by German visionary (self-taught, without formal training) Kai Hügel and a group of his peers from Ho Chi Minh City will also be shown as the exhibition.  

The museum's founder and director, Vu Duc Hieu, told The Thao & Van Hoa newspaper that stories about the Lang House of the Muong ethnic minority, the people in the area, its origin, background, history, cultural and architectural values, and the artifacts that it housed have provided the "materials and the inspiration" for the show.

Hieu, who has spent the last 15 years collecting Muong artifacts and working hard to preserve the nation's ethnic minority culture, said: "The event is a message to the public about our attitude towards the existence and loss of a certain cultural heritage."

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