|Emeritus artist Sang Set. (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
Emeritus artist Sang Set began researching and collecting Khmer cultural documents and objects in 1976. After graduating from the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema, Set worked for the Anh Binh Minh art troupe of Tra Vinh province for 14 years. He also served as the head of Tra Vinh’s Department of Culture, Information and Sports, Director of the province’s Culture Center, Vice President of the province’s Fatherland Front branch, and Deputy Director of Tra Vinh’s radio and TV station.
“I’ve been working in different art forms, including stage, dance, and literature. I’m in charge of editing and publishing the Tra Vinh edition of Art and Literature magazine. This is the only magazine on art and literature written in the Khmer language and published in the southern region. So far we’ve published 31 issues. I’ve also compiled a curriculum for teaching the customs and rituals of the southern region,” Sang Set said.
Sang Set is the author of dozens of books on Khmer culture, including Du Ke and Robam theatrical dances, wedding customs, and dictionaries of the Khmer language. Set’s research on Du Ke theatrical dance was published in 2019 by Tra Vinh province’s Literature and Arts Association.
“Sang Set is a talented and experienced artist. He can write songs, poems, Tuong (classical drama), and Du Ke in both Khmer and Vietnamese. He is active in social work and enthusiastically preserves and promotes Khmer culture,” said Buddhist Monk Kim Manh, a member of the Association.
|Literary works by Emeritus artist Sang Set (Photo: Ngoc Anh)
While working for the Anh Binh Minh art troupe, Set won a gold medal at the 1980 National Professional Music and Dance festival in Hanoi and at the 1995 National Professional Music and Dance festival in Can Tho city. He was sent to Cambodia as a cultural specialist by the Vietnamese government, and is the translator and editor of a Khmer-Vietnamese dictionary.
“The dictionary was a collaboration of Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training and Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. I worked for the compiling board. It took us more than a year to complete the dictionary. I’m also interested in Khmer art,” said Buddhist Monk Kim Manh, a member of the Association.
“There are now 5 professional Khmer art troupes in the southern provinces of Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, and Kien Giang. I hope there will soon be a Khmer theatre in the region.”
In 2016, Sang Set received the Emeritus title from the State President for his contribution to preserving and developing Khmer culture.