Hát Bội and the art of face painting brought joy to students during the “Cultural Festival 2024” at the HCMC Student Cultural House (May 4, 2024).

During this lively event, the Cultura Fish team set up a small experience corner for painting paper masks inspired by Vietnamese Hát Bội. Team members enthusiastically introduced students to common characters in Hát Bội, their backgrounds, and the meanings of the facial motifs. Initially, only one or two students came to “try it out,” but soon many more joined in, quickly using up all the paper masks the team and organizers provided. Some students who had seen Hát Bội before wanted to recreate their favorite characters on the paper masks, while others were intrigued by the intricate facial designs, or were simply curious about traditional performing arts. Whether they came with friends or wanted to create a unique mask, Hát Bội and the art of face painting brought joy and inspiration to all participants.

Students engaging in the face painting activity

Hiếu Văn Ngư extends heartfelt thanks to the HCMC Student Cultural House for inviting the Cultura Fish team to participate in the Cultural Festival. We are especially grateful for the organizers’ enthusiasm in introducing Hát Bội to young people. We hope this small experience inspires many students to learn more about Hát Bội.

Note: This is a creative experience of painting paper masks inspired by Hát Bội (design, lines, colors, stories, etc.). In reality, Hát Bội artists paint directly on their faces (sắm tuồng) during performances rather than using paper masks.

About Hiếu Văn Ngư: Established in 2020, Hiếu Văn Ngư (Cultura Fish) is dedicated to the research, application, and creation of culture and arts. With a multidisciplinary approach spanning areas such as education, visual arts, music, history, culture, sports, culinary arts, and performance, our activities often touch the hearts of participants. Notable projects include “Hát Bội 101,” “Phong hoa ca vịnh,” and educational programs using role-playing storytelling techniques. We also collaborate with domestic and international partners like ICHCAP-UNESCO, the British Council Vietnam, and the Asian Youth Theatre Festival (AYTF).

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