Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

The Poetic Narrative of Women in the Video World of Trinh T. Minh-ha as Seen in The Surname Viet Given Name Nam 从《姓越名南》看郑明河影像世界的女性诗学叙事

Event Information

Date: 27 November 2022
Time: 10:00 14:40
Venue: Rockbund Art Museum


日期: 2022年 11月 27日
时间: 10:00 14:40
场馆: 上海外滩美术馆

About the Event 关于活动

Trinh T. Minh-ha's video works can be viewed and interpreted in a variety of dimensions, both artistically and ideologically. This film review session, between the presentation of the two films The Surname Viet Given Name Nam(18:00-19:50) and A Tale of Love (20:50-22:40), will be presented by Feng Chao, Associate Professor and Director of the Vietnamese Language Department at the School of Oriental Languages, Shanghai International Studies University, mainly from the ideological aspect of the films, using the poems of two well-known female literary poets in Vietnam The film is about the relationship between China and Vietnam, the traditional culture of Vietnam, the trauma of separation, the survival of Vietnamese women and their struggle against their fate.

The title of Viet Nam (1989) comes from a Vietnamese woman's response to a male suitor who said she was married to someone with the name "Viet Nam". As the five women interviewed speak, the viewer is drawn into the changing role of women in the changing Vietnamese society, feeling the lives and destinies of women bound by traditional ethical dogma, and thus contemplating the topics of women, identity, culture and nation, as well as getting a glimpse into some aspects of Vietnamese history and reality. As the film progresses into the second half, the viewer is shocked to discover that the five contemporary women do not actually live in Vietnam, but are interviewed by characters designed by the director to interpret the texts and translations she has provided. Interestingly, the women who are interviewed later on, when they revert to their 'real identities', seem unable to speak their minds and are reserved in their conversations, thus blurring the lines between real and fictional, 'insider' and 'outsider'. The boundaries between real and fictional, "inside" and "outside" people are blurred, becoming intersecting and indistinguishable.

Apart from presenting reflections and expressions on history and real society, the film also skillfully deals with the relationship between truth and fiction, real-time recording and performance reproduction, revealing and reflecting on the fictionality contained in documentaries, thus becoming a masterpiece of reflexive documentary. At the same time, the film is interspersed with Vietnamese poetry, monologues and voice-overs, inviting the viewer into a journey of personal feeling, experience and self-reflection in a plethora of languages.

A Love Story (1995) is the first narrative feature film by Tay Minh Ho, depicting the experiences of Kieu, a Vietnamese immigrant living in San Francisco. Inspired by the famous Vietnamese long poem The Tale of Kiều (originally titled Đoạn Trường Tân Thanh), the film discusses issues of independent womanhood and identity through the story of Kieu's quest for love. Whereas the heroine of The Legend of Jin Yun Qiao was forced by the turmoil of feudal society to fall into poverty for her family, Kieu in this film is caught between the two cultures, struggling between economic necessity and carnal desire. Voyeurism forms one of the main threads of the film throughout, revealing the fictional and consumer process of love in a love story. By marginalising traditional narrative standards and using non-naturalistic performances to interact with reality, memory and imagination in a layered manner, Jung Myung-Ha transcends the boundaries between narrative and experimental cinema to deliver a unique experience.




《爱的故事》(1995年)是郑明河第一部叙事长片,描绘了在旧金山生活的越南移民Kieu的经历。本片以越南著名长诗《金云翘传》(《The Tale of Kiều》)(越南原名《断肠新声(Đoạn Trường Tân Thanh)》为灵感,通过女孩Kieu追求爱的的故事讨论了独立女性、身份认同等问题。《金云翘传》的女主角迫于封建社会动荡为家庭沦落风尘,而本片中生活在现代美国的Kieu也被夹在两种文化之间,在经济必要性和肉欲之间挣扎。偷窥癖贯穿始末构成了电影的一条主线,揭示了爱情故事中的爱情虚构和消费过程。郑明河将传统的叙事标准边缘化,用非自然主义的表演将现实、记忆、想象分层互动,超越了叙事电影和实验电影之间的界限,带来独特的体验。

About the Speaker 关于讲者

About the speaker

Feng Chao is an Associate Professor at the School of Oriental Languages, Shanghai International Studies University, Director of the Vietnamese Teaching and Research Department, and a member of the Shanghai Translators Association. His research interests include Sino-Vietnamese relations, Vietnamese history and Southeast Asian culture. He has published and co-edited several dictionaries and compilations, and has published more than 30 papers in academic journals at home and abroad. He has published several articles on current affairs in the Global Times, Xinmin Weekly and other news media.


Trinh T. Minh-ha: Traveling in the Dark 郑明河:暗游