Where is there - there is here (WIT TIH)

Dan do (meaning ‘that instrument’ in Vietnamese) was established in 2012, initially composed of Nguyen Duc Minh, Dinh Anh Tuan, Tran Kim Ngoc and Nguyen Quang Su. Within three years, a workshop in Gia Lam (Hanoi) became where they would do research and make improvements on instruments and performance style - typically using bamboo, a material commonly seen in South East Asian music as well as daily life. 


It can be said that ‘Dan Do’ was used as the group’s name for it’s sharp and clear sound that provokes fishery; the chum drum: a porcelain vase normally used to hold water, like a set of percussive instruments used to make echoing deep noises; pig drum: made from bamboo roots, with a short ‘naughty’ sound signature, etc. Dan Do also pushes to experiment on movement and form, combining homemade instruments with local and traditional ones to create a diverse stage of music. 


In this period, Nguyen Duc Phuong has become the fifth member. He records the group’s activities through art and sketches, therefore finding the turning point of individual art in the process of mixing dirt to use as powdered colors, searching for and attempting skills with lines, colors and surfaces, throughout the creative process, inspiring others using music and fine art. 


Not aimed to describe or record reality exactly, Duc Phuong’s art shows a whimsical, carefree attitude seen with Dan Do. Motion scenes open, becoming lively such as: when searching for bamboo to create instruments, performing, daily activities, boring rest periods, fun moments. Dynamic - static, the human body, the body of trees and the earth all exist within the same non specific plane of space time. Somewhere, interweaving the visual aspects that provoke the culture and hiding places of the past and present, rhythmic like a delicate dance - sculptures and headphones, wooden fishes and juggling instruments - open a parallel feeling that appears in the works of Duc Phuong. 


Next to the never before displayed visual artworks, through the weekly performances, talks and workshops, WIT TIH continues the sharing of each member about the recent years. With Dan Do, this is a look back at a journey that’s meticulously been in the works for a long time - ‘the most beautiful road in life’, as shared by the members - thoughts aren’t meant for recollection but are used instead for continuation. The search for ‘THERE’ starts ‘HERE’. - Tran Duy Hung

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