Paul Christiansen

in Loạt Soạt

Social Commentary, Empathy in Nguyễn Quang Thân's Short Story Collection

Nguyễn Quang Thân passed away on March 4, 2017, several weeks before I moved to Saigon. So of course I never met him, but I feel like I know him. My first introduction was via An Insignificant Family, the fictionalized memoir written by his wife, writer Dạ Ngân, which includes a description of the 10 years they spent apart, writing letters to one another from opposite ends of the nation, followed by their life together. In the years since I first interviewed her about that novel, I’ve been blessed to be adopted as her son; one of the greatest gifts of my life. No visit with her goes past without him being mentioned. For years, Nguyễn Quang Thân has simply been Ba Thân. 

Paul Christiansen

in Music & Arts

At Bùi Chát's Painting Exhibition, a Freedom to Feel Without Preconceptions

Contemporary art can intimidate viewers. People often think they need familiarity with certain histories, theories, philosophies and biographies to appreciate a painting. I have friends who do not have a formal art education or extensive art background and thus think visual art is not for them. 

Paul Christiansen

in Literature

How Nam Cao Almost Ruined My Favorite Canal Cafe

Spoilers for an 80-year-old story that every student in the nation is required to read: the dog dies, the old man dies, his son's misfortunes show no sign of abetting. Simply, misery abounds at the end of “Lão Hạc.”

Paul Christiansen

in In Plain Sight

On a Boat Ride Through Nhiêu Lộc Canal, a Fish's-Eye View of Saigon

Could your life in Saigon be made into a quirky indie film? 

in Music & Arts

Galuocad's Artworks Create a Universe of Very-Vietnamese Whimsy

Staying in one place for an extended period can lead to what's known as the "boiled frog effect."

in Loạt Soạt

A World of Riveting Medically Inspired Magic in Vanessa Le's YA Debut

Captured by Butchers, the “blackmarket bogey men who deal in rare goods,” Nhika Suonyasan is caged and auctioned off to the city’s elite. A figure in a fox mask attempting to purchase her is outbid by a rich family that carts her off to a mansion that boasts luxury beyond anything Nhika has ever seen. The family immediately commands her to heal a witness to the wealthy patriarch’s death.

in Music & Arts

Lemaire's Campaigns Blend Vietnam's Street Scenes, French Fashion

Stuck in traffic on a Honda Cub, but make it fashion.

Back Arts & Culture

in Film & TV

These 9 Vintage Vietnamese Films Are Now Available for Viewing on YouTube

The Việt Nam Film Institute (VFI) is providing free screenings of nine movies, available now on YouTube. 

Michael Tatarski

in Loạt Soạt

A Wildly Original Intermingling of Tales From Vietnam, Past and Present

In the Saigoneer office — which I haven't actually seen in person for months — a common concern is the prevalence of the war in literature about Vietnam. Even among younger writers, particul...

in Music & Arts

An Illustrator Gives Vietnamese Music Icons Sleek Cyberpunk Makeovers

Trần Phát, known on social media as Phat HaHa, is a designer from Bien Hoa. He recently released an album of 30 Vietnamese artists drawn in cyberpunk style. 

in Literature

Thơughtful: Chữ(a) Là(nh), a New Poetry Series to Raise Fund for Those in Need

“Chữ_là để chữa_lành,” or “words are for healing," is Bay Library’s motto for their poetry series. Amidst these difficult times, words have never abandoned people; they are here to heal, share, and sy...

in Quãng 8

Built on Rock, Raditori's Music Shines Thanks to Whimsy and Unpredictability

With the release of their ambitious debut album "Những Con Người," Raditori is making a name for themselves in the local rock scene.

in Music & Arts

Benefit Concert Featuring Indie Artists Plays Tomorrow to Raise Fund for Vaccines

Tomorrow at 7:30pm, Vaccine-AID-ED, a virtual benefit concert, will broadcast live on Facebook free for all viewers.

in Film & TV

Disney to Stop Airing Disney Channel, Fox, Channel V in Vietnam From October

Devastating news for children.

in Culture

An Ode to Gối Ôm, Our Time-Honored Sleeping Companion

There’s a scene in The Sound of Music, where Julie Andrews gazes into the future on a stormy night and envisions something holy: play clothes. She wraps herself in her bedroom curtains, a stuffy ...

Linh Pham

in Postcards

Hanoi Postcard No. 11: Saddle Chill Time

Who is better at the art of chilling on a motorbike than the xe ôm?

in Quãng 8

Indie Quintet Whee! Brings Their Eclectic Sounds to the Local Music Scene

Making their debut in the midst of the pandemic with a cryptically named album, Whee! offers listeners a down-to-earth and prismatic experience that draws from the musicians' harmonic bond. 

Michael Tatarski

in Film & TV

Meet the Vietnamese Creators of 'Centuries and Still,' a Short Decrying Anti-Asian Racism

How much history are you aware of?

in Music & Arts

What Is Hanoi to You? A New Art Competition Seeks Answers From Young Designers.

What is Hanoi to you? Is it the mesmerizing old architecture, the thousand-year legacy, the usual traffic craze, or a warm bowl of phở in the morning?

Paul Christiansen

in Music & Arts

Born Into Traditional Craft, a Young Sculptor Finds Joy in Carving Pop Culture

“Even though they know deeply that it’s beautiful, they cannot feel it because it’s not familiar to them,” Duy Trần says of younger generations that gaze upon the traditional wood sculptures in his fa...

Michael Tatarski

in Ton-sur-Ton

How Local Brand Re.socks Spins Discarded Plastic Bottles Into Comfy Socks

How much thought do you put into socks?

in Culture

Đại Việt Kỳ Nhân: When Vietnam's Prolific History Meets Board Game

After copious exchanges with friends from abroad, Tô Quốc Nghị had a flash of realization: just like his friends’ countries, Vietnam has always had a wicked awesome history, but the dull, uninspiring ...

in Music & Arts

'Lòng Vòng Sài Gòn' Music Video Reminds Us of the Fantastical Magic of the City

There are certain things that we tend to take for granted in life. A standard routine, moments of simple contentment, and that one cơm tấm lady who’s always been at that street corner whenever you rea...

in Film & TV

'Paris by Night' Host Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn Announces Retirement Next Year

Come 2022, fans of the variety show Paris by Night will miss the dulcet tones and witty banter from its veteran host Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn.

in Film & TV

Vietnamese-American Actress Set to Star in 'How I Met Your Mother' Spinoff

Tien Tran, the Vietnamese-American actress, will join the main cast of How I Met Your Father, the sequel to CBS's long-running TV show How I Met Your Mother.

in Arts & Culture

On the Other Side of the Window: a Peek into Different Worlds

in Arts & Culture

[Illustrations] 20th Century Vietnam by Thang Trần Phềnh

Time for a bit of history.