The Art of Nom

The Art of Nom

Art of Nom is a film about a revolutionary group of five Vietnamese artist/scholars, called the Zenei Group. They are reviving, a thousand-year- old Vietnamese script called Nom. For more than 1,000 years Chinese Han was the script used in Vietnam. Then in the 11th century, the Vietnamese created their own script. A charismatic and very idiosyncratic artist named Le Quoc Viet leads the Zenei Group. Their art explores Vietnamese history within contemporary society. Using calligraphy and Nom, Zenei wants Vietnam’s contemporary culture to interact with the nation’s rich history. Le Quoc Viet and Zenei are trying to halt the erosion of traditional Vietnamese culture. For centuries many Vietnamese could read and write both the Chinese characters and the Nom characters. In 1945 Vietnam shifted to its current phonetic script based on the Latin alphabet. Except for scholars, very few Vietnamese can still read Nom. Vietnam has been losing touch with much of its heritage. Nom was on the edge of extinction, and contemporary Vietnamese have faced losing touch with much of the nation’s past that preserved in the archives written in Nom. Hopefully, interest in Nom is beginning to be revived.

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Watch the Trailer

Download The Art of Nom PDF for more information.