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It’s Magic! EWC Gallery Spotlights Shamans of Vietnam
HONOLULU (June 22) – To many it’s magic. But to others the shamanic tradition is a very real cultural heritage and a continuing part of everyday life. These healers and ceremonial leaders continue to play a leading role in the Dao, San Chay, Tay, Nung, Hmong, and San Diu minority groups living in the mountains of Vietnam.

The shamanic arts will be spotlighted in the upcoming Shaman Arts of Vietnam exhibition at the East-West Center Gallery. The exhibition gets underway Sunday, July 1 at 2 p.m. with a gala opening reception and runs through Monday, September 10.

Gallery curator Michael Schuster says, “Our guest curators, Nguyen Thi Nhung and Mark Rapoport, are extraordinary experts on the traditions of Vietnam.  As cofounders of the 54 Traditions Gallery in Hanoi, they have put together an array of ritual objects from the northern Vietnamese highlands communities, including paintings, elaborate ceremonial costumes, musical instruments, and power objects … all important elements of the millennia-old shamanic practices that continue to this day.” He continues, “This is an extremely rare opportunity for gallery-goers to experience these museum-quality works outside their home country and cultures.”

The July 1 opening ceremony includes a Gallery walkthrough led by Nguyen Thi Nhung. Then, on Sunday, August 5 at 2:00 p.m. a special film showing highlighting shamanic traditions will take place in the Gallery. An illustrated discussion titled From South of the Clouds: Vietnamese Shamanic Tradtions, led by Mark Rapoport, will be held on Sunday, September 9 at 2 p.m. These special events are open to the general public and admission is free.

The East-West Center Gallery is located on the ground floor of John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road (the mauka – Koko Head corner of East-West Road and Dole Street). The Gallery is open to the public free of charge weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. It is closed Saturdays. Weekday parking is available on the adjacent University of Hawaii at Manoa campus for $3. Parking on Sundays is generally ample and free.

The Shaman Arts of Vietnam exhibition, as well as other  EWC Arts programs, are  generously supported by the Hawai`i Pacific Rim Society, Cooke Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, and generous contributors to the EWC Foundation, including members of the EWC Arts ‘Ohana.

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For more information regarding the exhibition please contact Dr. Michael Schuster at (808) 944-7543 or via email at [email protected] Media inquiries can be addressed to John Lewis at (808) 944-7204 or via email at [email protected]

The EAST-WEST CENTER is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States.  The Center contributes to a peaceful, prosperous and just Asia Pacific community by serving as a vigorous hub for cooperative research, education and dialogue on critical issues of common concern to the Asia Pacific region and the United States.  Funding for the Center comes from the U.S. government, with additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations,corporations, and the governments of the region.