The stage, props and script of ‘New Women’ have been on view since Hương Ngô’s exhibition ‘Lost from View’ opened, now witness it come alive! To celebrate the last viewing week of this solo show, we are excited to invite you to a ‘dramatic reading’ of the work ‘New Women’; produced and directed for The Factory by local artists Tricia Nguyễn, with performances by Bạch Mai, Minh Tú, Trâm Nguyễn and Trang Phạm.
‘New Women’ tells the story of three women working for a contemporary women’s magazine and was originally written in 1944 by seminal Vietnamese playwright Vũ Đình Long. Although the play was seen as ‘modernizing’ because of its French-influenced ‘théâtre-parlé’ style, the plot champions a patriarchal, Confucian gender structure: the main female character is preyed upon by the male publisher of the magazine and one woman is pitted against another. Ngô uses this 20th century story to re-examine how patriarchy and capitalism operate in concert, yet invisibly, to exploit female-identifying bodies. In her dramatic reading, Hương Ngô adapted the play by omitting all of the male voices. This process leaves behind blank spaces and long pauses, opening the text to a contemporary reinterpretation.
The original play was inspired by the actual magazine Phụ nữ Tân văn, which was published out of Saigon from 1929 – 1935 and covered a wide range of topics including home-making, child rearing, relationships with the family, and politics.
Please note that due to COVID-19, Hương Ngô joins us for this event from Chicago, speaking with us online, for live presentation and Q&A, from 6pm.