Hau dong (‘going into a trance’), a spirit possession ritual of the Mother Goddess Religion – one of the main religions in Vietnam, holds both spiritual and folk artistic meanings. People believe that the Mother Goddess is the supreme deity who has been reincarnated as the four Mother Goddesses – Heaven, Earth, Water and Mountain and Forests who look after all things. Mother Goddess religion has considered the above nature as mother and worships her. Additionally, it gives people living in this world three things: happiness, prosperity and longevity. These are eternal wishes of humankind. In 2016, practices related to the Viet’s belief in the mother of goddess was recognized as UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
To bring the worship of Mother Goddesses close to the public, to retain the beauty of Vietnam’s cultural heritage and introduce it to a global audience, Ngu Bien – a uniquely creative and artistically inspired work of art that portrays a trance-like Hau Dong practice has been produced and received much attention from both local and more than 20 foreign countries. In the Hau Dong ritual, followers become mediums for 36 deities. Session involves a number of artistic elements, such as music, singing, dancing and the use of costumes that put the medium into a trance, where she/he can be possessed by the deities. During the “Ngu Bien” performance, five typical sessions were performed and demonstrated the worshipping Mother Goddess ‘s value such as Pure Heart – Beauty – Joy.