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BackArts & Culture » [Video] Hoang Thuy Linh's 'Vo Chong A Phu' Video Is a Popping Literature Party

[Video] Hoang Thuy Linh's 'Vo Chong A Phu' Video Is a Popping Literature Party

From one of Vietnam’s classic literature works to internet meme to a full-fledged music video: Mi from ‘Vo Chong A Phu’ is truly a cultural icon.

No one is quite as literary as Hoang Thuy Linh in contemporary Vietnamese showbiz. The sultry pop singer from Hanoi has found inspiration for her music projects in the country’s repertoire of literary works on more than one occasion. Back in 2016, Linh released a gorgeously shot music video for her single ‘Banh Troi Nuoc (Woman),’ an electronic-dance track centered on a four-sentence poem by female poet Ho Xuan Huong. The song’s namesake is perhaps one of Vietnam’s most notable works from the classical period.

In Linh’s most recent project, she has taken her love for literature up a notch with a new track and video for ‘De Mi Noi Cho Ma Nghe.’ The song’s lyrics are from the perspective of Mi, the female protagonist in a short story by To Hoai which chronicles the life of a poor H’Mong woman who was forced to marry into a rich family to repay her parents’ debt. Contrary to the story’s oppressing realities enveloping its heroine, the music video presents a subversive and sassy Mi, played by Linh, who seizes life by the horns with a take-charge attitude.

Apart from ‘Vo Chong A Phu’ by To Hoai, other famous literary texts from Vietnam’s public school syllabus also make cameos throughout the video, including ‘Vo Nhat’ (Kim Lan), ‘Chi Pheo’ and ‘Lao Hac’ (Nam Cao), Tat Den (Ngo Tat To), The Tale of Kieu (Nguyen Du) and Dumb Luck (Vu Trong Phung).

Nguoi Lao Dong reports that Linh chose ‘Vo Chong A Phu’ to be the main narrative of the song because the story was the subject of a literature question on her high school examination 13 years ago.

“Apart from sentimental reasons, Mi in ‘Vo Chong A Phu’ also evokes a special emotion in me whenever I think [of her]. She’s just like any other woman, with dreams and passion, but she couldn’t rise up against the society then,” Linh explained at the press event for the single release. “I feel for her, but also I’m upset on her behalf. If Mi is young and wants to break out, why couldn’t she drop everything to live for herself? I believe this is the moral that the story wants to impart on readers to encourage them to think and act for themselves.”

Watch the music video for ‘De Mi Noi Cho Ma Nghe’ below:

[Video via YouTube channel Hoang Thuy Linh]

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