Blind Musician Dou Wun’s Deishui Naamyam Reanimated
Why We Recommend it
Zuni experiments with Professor Bell Yung’s recordings of Dou Wun’s naamyam, reanimating it via audio system image projection, and other theatre technology.
Naamyam, also known as Deishui Naamyam, is a Cantonese song-art that combines speaking and singing originating from around the Pearl River Delta. It is a type of traditional Chinese music and oral literature, and thus is an important heritage both for its artistic and cultural values. Popular in Hong Kong in the beginning of the 20th century, the mostly blind Naamyam singers (gu si’s) performed in tea houses and brothels. Dou Wun is one of these gu si’s.
With the prevalence of broadcast television and radio in the 60s and 70s, Deishui Naamyam declined, along with the disappearance of traditional performance venues. In order to preserve this form of art, Professor Bell Yung came to Hong Kong in 1975 to document Dou’s performance. The live recordings were made in Fu Loong Teahouse, where the audience and the ambiance are most familiar to Dou, in order to show the quintessence of Dou’s artistry and be truthful to Naamyam. In 2019, Zuni Icosahedron experiments with the recordings of Dou via audio system, image projection, and other theatre technology alike, to relive the audio-visual space of Deishui Naamyam.