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​Controversy sparks over installation art exhibition on terraced rice field in northwestern Vietnam

Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 17:41 GMT+7
​Controversy sparks over installation art exhibition on terraced rice field in northwestern Vietnam

People are afraid that the art exhibition will cause harm to the natural landscape of the favorite tourism spot

An installation art project scheduled to take place at a terraced rice field, a popular attraction in the northwestern province of Yen Bai is stirring mixed opinions from the public as people fear that the exhibition may cause harm to the natural landscape there.

The exhibition “May pha le (Crystal Cloud) – La Pan Tan” is expected to take place from May 19 to October 5, occupying a 1,000 square meter area atop a round-shaped hill, covered by a large terraced rice field, in Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai.

The hill is known as ‘Mam Xoi,’ literally known as a ‘round tray of sticky rice,’ thanks to its unique shape and yellow color of the grain.

The project will be held by two landscape designers Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot, with permission from the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the People’s Committee of Yen Bai.

The installation art exhibition involves scattering a number of steel poles on the hill, which will be connected by galvanized wire and decorated with 58,000 crystal beads to make the ‘clouds’.

But the project has raised a few eyebrows among travel-lovers and experts, who are concerned that such an installation of poles and wire will ruin the gorgeous terraced rice field in Mu Cang Chai, which emerges as an attractive destination during the harvest season for rice.

Despite this, local journalist Le Viet Ha, one of the exhibition’s organizers, claims the opposite viewpoint.

“The organizers are committed to not making any harm to the terraced rice field and keeping the landscape completely intact after the exhibition,” Ha said.

Ha said wooden walkways have been dedicated for traveling around the exhibition venue so as not to destroy the rice field.

“No one, whether workers or tourists, are allowed to directly set their foot on the rice field,” he said.

The organizers will assign personnel to guide visitors about the walkway during the course of exhibition, with surveillance cameras available to capture anyone who trespass the rice field for later punishment, he added.

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