Full set costume: Headwear, clothes, accessories, shoes.
Collaboration with Choy Ka Fai for Cosmic Wander project
Exhibited at Tanz im August, Berlin, Aug 2021
Model: Dancer Nguyễn Duy Thành
After interviewing numerous researchers, practitioners, and costume makers of Dao Mau; from tall tales and the hand-down-sacred text collected around Hanoi and Nam Dinh (the said first place of Mother Goddess descending to Earth), prosperity is one of the most repeated stories when speaking about Lieu Hanh’s traits - The Mother, the highest God of Dao Mau.
Looking from the way mediums dress to how a temple is decorated, and how its devotees talk about their religion, wealthiness also appears to be one of the most important notions of the Mother Goddess religion.
In 2016, Đạo Mẫu is recognized as a UNESCO-listed religion, the worship practices gain popularity and has been “renovated” in many ways. Thus, we envision the latest update in costume with prosperity symbols in Vietnam, including Vietnam dong on the building of Landmark 81, Bitexco and Lotte tower, along with Vietnam Airlines’ logo as I imagine Lieu Hanh, who rules the sky, would support the most to for her devotees to expand their wealth and widespread the religion.
About Cosmic Gala
COSMIC GALA starts as costume part of CosmicWander - an ongoing project by Choy Ka-fai that explores shamanic dance cultures in Asia, delving into the process of sprit world across different communities. Cosmic Gala focus on the costume of Đạo Mẫu - the Mother Goddess religion in order to explore three questions: Who/Which God we worship, What we beseech, and Who we pray for. Each costume re-discovers perspectives, roles and impact of Dao Mau in modern life.