On November 20th, 2015, the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology inaugurated the new pavilion at the open-air exhibition. The water puppet show performed by Thanh Hải water puppetry troupe (Thanh Hà District, HảiDươngProvince) restarted the periodical performances of 16 folk water puppetry troupes at the new pavilion of the Museum.
The construction of the pavilion was done by artisans from two villages Chàng Sơn and Sài Sơn (Hà Nội) from June to October, 2015. This is the space for performing water puppetry. It is one of four important elements of water puppetry art: the puppets, the puppeteers, the orchestra, and the pavilion.
The pavilion was built taking reference of traditional pavilions built in different villages in Hà Nội and particular consultation of artisans from folk water puppetry troupes. It was constructed following traditional architecture style of the pavilion built at Thầy Pagoda – the most ancient pavilion built in the later Lê Dynasty (1533-1788) that still remains today in Việt Nam. It is supplemented with two lean-tos at the two sides and a small shelter for the orchestra.
The pavilion is constructed following traditional architecture style with ends of eave-corners curving and slightly soaring upwards like flower petals and imperial shoe-cap shaped roof tiles. This beautiful pavilion is not only for visitors to enjoy the beauty of folk architecture but also a place for the folk water puppetry troupes to gather and perform. Through the performances, the troupes have a chance to restore folk plays, maintain their creation and improve the quality of the shows that express the characteristics of each troupe. Visitors also have a chance to directly talk with the artisans – the masters of this unique art form.
From October 2015 onwards, the water puppet performances have been done again and regularly every Saturdays and Sundays at the VME, 4 shows a day at 10:00, 11:30, 14:30, and 16:00.