Private Project

Stay, my beloved

Title: Người ơi người ở đừng về (Stay, my beloved)
Author: Nguyễn Hải Yến (Red) (1994)
Country: Vietnam
Year of completion: 08/2021

“Stay, my beloved” is composed as a call-and-response song in video format, consisting of nine verses presented as one single video.

The video’s concept and structure was drawn from the folk song “Chuông vàng gác cửa tam quan” (Golden Bells guarding the gate) (often referred to as "Stay, my beloved, don’t leave"), a passionate dialogue between those who leave and those who stay in the time of farewell, one of my grandmother's favorite Quan Ho folk song when she was alive. My grandmother was born in Bac Ninh. When she was alive, she had a tea stall in front of her house. When she was young, she used to go to the street to sell vegetables, fruits or snacks. My mother and my uncle (who’s not here anymore) often follow her on the road. When I was 12 years old, when my family (as well as the families of other aunts, uncles and aunts) moved from the small town of Na Sam where I was born, to Lang Son city to work and live, my grandmother remained in the same place until her death. A couple of years after her death, the eldest uncle sold part of her house, leaving a lot of confusion in me.

Working on this video “Stay, my beloved”, I wanted to create a dreamy 'house'/station for my grandmother, my uncle and my mother (with nostalgia for her passed away mother) re-encounter; for my grandfather and my father re-encounter; for those who leave and stay to stop to look at each other and say goodbye. The video has the length of a sudden memory (in the author's own opinion).

The dream house I built is full of names and calls, stories from mom, stories from dad,... about absent loved ones, about the farewell memories. The “performers” appearing in my series wear a mirror mask as a way to travel through space between worlds. They (performers) often appear in single gestures/gestures, or single actions repeated over and over again - performing the last memory of the person in the heart of the inhabitant.

The work is presented as wandering souls, appearing and then disappearing for a brief moment, so the author did not leave any information in the "Credit" section of the video. Please see in this description:

Concept & Conceived by: Red
DOP & Camera operator: Red
Performed by: KIM Lâm Duy Phương, Thương Lê
Voices: Nguyễn Chiến Thắng, Vũ Thị Chung, Nguyễn Hải Yến
Recordings: Nguyễn Chiến Thắng, Vũ Thị Chung, Nguyễn Hải Yến
Sound Mix & Master: Phạm Thế Vũ
Editor: Red
Translator: Red

Text resources:
- Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt, English translation by John Northam
- Dante Alighieri, Divina Commedia, Vietnamese translation by Nguyễn Văn Hoàn
- Ingmar Bergman, The seventh seal

- Chuông vàng gác cửa tam quan - Bắc Ninh folk song (instrumental, funeral flute)
- Con cò (The stork) - lullaby (sung by Vũ Thị Chung, the author’s mom)
- You’re my heart, you’re my soul, Modern Talking - song recorded from a DVD player.

  • the wandering soul Thuong Le Thi Hoai
    Key Cast
    "the wandering soul"
    Phuc Dac Huynh
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Người ơi người ở đừng về
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 31, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    Viet Nam
  • Country of Filming:
    Viet Nam
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Born in Lang Son, Vietnam, Red’s practice focuses on the multidisciplinary approaches which addresses the shifting boundaries between different forms of art, fiction and documentary, life and death, human and animal, living beings and spirits...Her video works engage with dreams, personal landscape and self-reflection. Red’s works were featured at Seashort Film Festival, Fundacion-PROA, White Chapell Gallery (nominated by Hanoi DocLab for the Artist Films International 2019), Arkipel International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Fifth Wall Fest, Mikino Film Festival, Sàn Art, Teater Garasi’s program...She’s now working on her video-performance The Tangerine Womb in her hometown Lang Son, which is part of the Terasia project (a theater project about death, life and belief, initiated by Japanese artists and joined by Indonesian, Malaysian, Thailand and Vietnam artists)
Since 2020, together with choreographer Ngo Thanh Phuong, she co-directed MORUA, an active member of the Southeast Asia Choreographer Network, a dance collective and artist-in-residency program aiming to encourage the next-generation of performing/ performance/ interdisciplinary dance practitioners to research and exchange their methods of body-and-movements, to broaden the dialogue about dance in Vietnam. Alongside with MORUA, she’s working as producer of H2Q Art - an emerging independent dance company based in Vietnam, focusing on creating international co-production performances. One of the biggest step for Red to dive into the dance producing world was her participation in Asia Connection: Producer’s Camp 2021, under the mentorship of Farooq Chaudhry (director producer of Akram Khan Dance Company), organized by Taiwan’s National Theater & Concert Hall. The WIP Performance of her latest project 'Vinabiennale' (directed by Le-Bac-Tan) was then funded by and will be presented in September 2023 at Taiwan’s National Theater & Concert Hall. In August 2022, Red was invited to join the Partnership Development Programme in the UK to visit Edinburgh International Festival and meet up with potential partners, funded by the British Council.
Red was a Prince Claus Seed 2022 Recipient.

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